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Pensacola

Four years ago, an oil rig owned by BP exploded off the Louisiana coast—causing one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history. The oil flowed all the way to Florida's western panhandle, causing tourists to flee and businesses to dry up. Now tourism is back and the money is flowing again—but the oil remains.

Associated Press

When an apparent gas explosion leveled a Florida jail and killed two inmates, officials had to rescue prisoners trapped in the rubble, evacuate the building and treat the injured in the parking lot and hospitals. Then, they had to find new secure facilities for 600 inmates.

Extreme rainfall in much of the East and parts of the South is causing major problems, with Florida's Panhandle and southern Alabama — which got more than 2 feet of rain in 24 hours — bearing the brunt of the onslaught.

The torrential rains followed close on the heels of a rash of deadly tornadoes that battered a broad swath of the country earlier this week, killing dozens of people.

An apparent gas explosion at a jail in Pensacola, Fla., has killed at least two inmates and injured more than 100 people, including some corrections officers, according to local reports. But it's not clear yet whether the incident at the Escambia County Jail has anything to do with the extensive flooding in the region.

Katie E. King / AP Photo/Pensacola News Journal

In the latest blow from a days long chain of severe weather across the South and Midwest, the Florida Panhandle and Alabama Gulf Coast were hit with widespread flooding early Wednesday, with people stranded in cars and homes waiting for rescuers to find a way around impassable roads and others abandoning vehicles to walk to safety.