Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

April 8, 2014

Storms sock the Southeast, killing 2 people

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Severe thunderstorms dumped heavy rains across the Southeast on Monday and caused flash flooding in central Alabama, where crews in small boats and military trucks had to rescue dozens of people from their homes and cars.

In Mississippi, a 9-year-old girl was swept away and killed after the storms dropped nearly 7 inches of rain there over the last two days. A possible tornado in another part of the state damaged homes and hurt seven people, and a motorist in metro Atlanta was found dead after driving into a creek swollen with rainwater.

Strong winds downed trees, power lines and snarled rush hour commutes. National Weather Service forecasters in North Carolina say video indicates a tornado touched down near the town of Belhaven in the eastern part of the state. Authorities say a pickup truck was lifted off the highway, injuring a man and his son.  

In Pelham, just south of Birmingham, more than 4 inches of rain fell from 7 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday. Police and firefighters rescued people who became trapped in flooded townhomes and a mobile home park.

Dozens of cars had water up to their roofs. Rescue workers wearing life jackets waded through muddy water nearly to their chests to reach stranded residents. Hundreds of more people in mobile homes on higher ground were isolated because water covered the only entrance to the complex.

Pelham Fire Battalion Chief Mike Knight said people realized at daybreak that the water, 7 feet deep in some places, was surrounding their homes. Some people had to abandon cars after driving into areas where the flood water was deeper than expected.

“It’s been a long time since it’s done this, so people kind of weren’t expecting it,” he said.

A development of townhomes along a creek in Pelham also flooded, with some units getting 4 to 5 feet of water. Some residents went to their second floors to wait for the water to recede, while others evacuated.

Shannon Martin said she had water up to the top of her toilet bowl in her first floor. She and a friend waded through flooded streets to get inside and floated out some of her belongings in a cooler.

Martin, a renter, said she had insurance to cover her belongings, but doesn’t know where she will live. “I just moved here,” she said.

Marisa Franks sat on her porch at a town house on higher ground. She had no idea what was going on until a neighbor knocked on her door Monday morning to tell her to move her car. She said the water got up to her porch.

“This is a lot of flooding for Alabama,” she said.

At an apartment complex in the suburb of Homewood, rescue crews used a boat to help several residents and pets get out of flooded first-floor units. Mudslides toppled trees and blocked several roads.

Some roads in Birmingham became impassable due to flood waters and fallen trees, and schools delayed opening in many areas of central Alabama due to the heavy rains.

At one point, Birmingham-based Alabama Power Co. reported 11,000 homes and businesses without electricity. That was cut to about 4,500 Monday afternoon.

In the Atlanta suburb of Lilburn, Gwinnett County firefighters were called to Jackson Creek after witnesses saw a car leave the road. The car soon was swallowed by the creek. A few hours later, firefighters with an inflatable boat found the driver dead inside, fire department spokesman Lt. Colin Rhoden said in a statement.

In Augusta, Ga., where the Master’s golf tournament is being held this week, practice round play was halted Monday two hours after it began. It was the first time in 11 years that weather washed out a Monday practice round.

In Mississippi, the 9-year-old girl, Patrauna Hudson, was last seen playing in floodwater near her parents’ house around 7 p.m. Sunday in Yazoo City, the Delta region northwest of Jackson. Yazoo County Director of Emergency Management Joey Ward said her body was found Monday night.

Ward said a neighbor saw her wash into a culvert. Ward said divers have cleared all the culverts and attention turned to a large canal.

Farther south, a possible tornado damaged homes in Covington County, where seven minor injuries were reported, the Emergency Management Agency said.

 

1
Text Only
National, International News
  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans’ health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 27, 2014

  • United States-Libya_Rich.jpg US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said “free-wheeling militia violence” prompted the move.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP9607270692 copy.jpg Today in History for Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Today is Sunday, July 27, the 208th day of 2014. There are 157 days left in the year.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • No ticket for Shrek over loud musical, chief says

    A musical being performed in a New Hampshire park has drawn some noise complaints, but the deputy police chief says he’s “not giving Shrek a ticket.”

    July 26, 2014

  • Arizona Execution Dru_Rich copy.jpg Arizona’s McCain: Execution was torture

    U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine Plane_Rich copy.jpg US: Russia firing into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.
    Russia accused Washington of lying and charged Ukraine with firing across the border on a Russian village. It also toughened its economic measures against Ukraine by banning dairy imports.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP7107260254 copy.jpg Today in History for Saturday, July 26, 2014

    Today is Saturday, July 26, the 207th day of 2014. There are 158 days left in the year.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Iraq_Rich copy.jpg Iraq elects new president amid attacks

    Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country’s new president in the latest step toward forming a new government. But a series of attacks killed dozens of people and Islamic militants destroyed a Muslim shrine traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah, underscoring the overwhelming challenges facing the divided nation.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hong Kong Shutdown_Rich copy.jpg Hong Kong firms on edge as blockade looms

    As activists vow to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district in protest at China’s attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city, businessman Bernard Chan is preparing for the worst.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palest_Rich copy.jpg UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children’s clothing scattered in the courtyard.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results