It took more than 12 hours. But early Saturday morning, crews rescued two kayakers from the Little River Canyon near Fort Payne.
DeKalb County Emergency Management Director Anthony Clifton said two men (ages 29 & 30) from Birmingham were kayaking on Friday when they got stranded. He said one was on a rock and the other was on the bank.
Multiple agencies – local fire departments, rescue squads, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, DeKalb County EMA – assisted in the effort which started around 4: 00 p.m. Christmas day. Eventually, they rescued the two men using ropes around 4:30 Saturday morning. One was transported to a hospital for evaluation. The other is fine.
As of Saturday morning, the Alabama River flow page listed the Little River Canyon as running at 11,700 cubic feet per second, the majority of the runs (sections) of the river were classified as high.
The DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency confirmed Friday night crews had to perform a water rescue at DeSoto State Park. Two kayakers were reportedly stranded in the waters of the Little River in the park.
Heavy rains throughout the day Friday led to many flooding situations and washouts of roads throughout North Alabama, and it is expected that water levels of creeks and rivers will continue to rise into Saturday.
DeKalb EMA confirms a command post was set up Friday night. Due to the work EMA officials are facing after the large amount of rain, further details were not immediately available.
We will continue to gather updates and will pass them along when more is released.