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Sudden storm floods Roanoke streets

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Torrential downpours flooded several streets, businesses, and cars Wednesday.

Roanoke Fire EMS say crews responded to six swift water rescues Wednesday evening.

Five of those rescues involved helping people from their cars to dry land.

Meanwhile, lightning from the storm caused three house fires in the area.

Two of the fires happened in Roanoke on Walmann Road and Albemarle Avenue.

The third happened on Stonecroft Court in Roanoke County.

No one was hurt in any of the fires.

Witnesses of the storm say within minutes the streets became impassable, and people were running for cover.

"You look out the window and BAM the water was like a river, and it happened like that, and it seemed, it helped us with business, which was nice, I like when the rain can bring them in as opposed to keep them away," said James Barnes, who was working at Fork in the Market during the storm.

Elijah Deyerle says he picked up his skateboard and ran for the cover of a parking garage.

"There was leaks coming through the building, like it was like flooding the building a little bit," said Deyerle.

Others were caught driving when the storm struck.

"We couldn't see a thing so we took the exit as fast as we could and pulled over on Orange Avenue, and then we were trying to get to my daughter's house, and all the lanes were covered over with water, nobody would get in the right lane," said Deborah Wood.

Those vehicles pushed water off the roads in several spots, into businesses like the 7 to 7 market.

"It was a horrible mess. Rain just poured in everything and every structure in this building was just flooded. People from the bus station, they had squeegies, they had mops, they were just pushing everything out of the door," said Theodore Oats, a customer who helped clean out the business.