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HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) -
Residents at one Homewood apartment complex are suffering huge losses after flooding took over their units on Monday morning.
The normally easy-flowing Shades Creek swallowed up much of Lakeshore Garden Apartments. The water started rising around 1 a.m., eventually rising high enough to submerge vehicles and flood first-floor units.
Homewood police officers and firefighters rescued 120 people from the apartments, many of them by boat. It took first responders around seven hours to rescue everyone from their apartments and make sure others were okay.
The water was so high, it covered many cars in the parking lot. A few people were able to move their cars to higher ground, but not everyone got the message in time, leaving many cars flooded.
One woman said she woke up to the car alarms going off. By the time she got dressed, water was already rushing into her apartment.
"Everybody's car alarms were going off at one time and that woke us up. When we woke up, it was flooded everywhere," Angela Irvy said.
"And by the time we put on our clothes, it was rushing in the door. And our neighbors from upstairs helped us up the stairs to their apartments. It all happened in five minutes. It was moving like a river. Me, my husband, my son and daughter. (We're) still waiting on my husband and son. They took the women and children first. Very thankful to God," Irvy said.
Deeshal Shah has lived at Lakeshore Garden Apartments for two years.
"It was so dark I couldn't see any water on the floor but my roommate came out and he saw water and started yelling and we got out. It was totally flooded… I am frustrated," Shah said. "I lost everything. All my files. Everything is gone."
John Green has lived at Lakeshore Garden Apartments three years.
"Yeah it was pretty high. It was up to my chest and it was very scary and that's why I had to hold on to a railing when I stopped and yelled at them [firefighters] to get my kids," Green said.
Green has three children, two boys and one girl. Thankfully, they were all safe.
Homewood Fire Battalion Chief Mike Anastia said they had three boats and help from Vestavia and Mountain Brook Fire Departments. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
Several places opened as shelters for flooding victims, including Raleigh Avenue Baptist Church off Green Springs in Homewood. Church members opened their doors to flooding victims and began offering them food and blankets. They gave them a warm place to sit and collect their thoughts on what they will do next.
Most of the people sheltering at Raleigh Avenue Baptist had been rescued from Lakeshore Garden Apartments.
There are another 74 people who took shelter at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church. The Red Cross also has another shelter open at Helena Cumberland Presbyterian Church.