HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) – Thursday marks one year since historic rains hit the state, taking four people’s lives including two Hoover residents. The rains were accompanied by a number of water rescues from Birmingham, Pelham and Highway 31 in Vestavia Hills.

The area in front of the Riverchase Galleria on U.S. 31 was covered by several inches of water as first responders worked to rescue people from several trapped vehicles. Not everyone made it home that night and city officials said it was the worst rain it had ever seen in over 20 years that damaged 399 homes.

From “A Taste of Hoover” to the annual homecoming parade, Oct. 6, 2022 is a very different evening compared to the year before.

Don Hecklinski watched his grandchildren in the parade. He said his townhomes in Bluff Park were hit that night.

“It cost me a lot of money to remediate it,” Hecklinski said. “They all have crawl spaces and they all have water issues.”

First responders were showcased in Thursday’s parade instead of rescuing residents from floodwaters.

“We don’t ever want to be in that situation again and we don’t want our first responders to have to be in that situation either,” Hover City Administrator Allan Rice said. “Even one year out from October 6 we’re still working with residents, property owners and some business owners on impacts that they had from a year ago.”

Flooding took the lives of Myles Jared Butler, 23, and Latin Marie Hill, 23. Now, the spot where they were rescued on Riverchase Parkway is bone dry.

Rice said the city is finishing an application with FEMA for people who have had repeated flooding events.

“They need some type of federal assistance so we’re working with them to try to achieve that,” Rice said.

And on this one year anniversary, a reminder that flood events like that of October 6 can be tremendously dangerous for citizens and first responders.

“The easiest thing for citizens to do, especially when they’re driving, never drive through flood water,” Rice said.

You have until Friday, Oct. 7 to apply for that FEMA buyout program. If you would like to be considered for participation in the FEMA program contact Justin Marlin at 205-444-7633 or email justin.marlin@hooveralabama.gov.