A powerful winter storm raked the Southeast on Thursday with high winds, rain and floods that killed at least four people and injured several more across a dozen states. Rescue crews repeatedly pulled people from cars that got stuck in high water, but couldn’t reach a person whose vehicle disappeared into a rain-swollen creek, NBC News reported.
The storm front destroyed mobile homes in Mississippi and Alabama, caused mudslides in Tennessee and Kentucky and flooded communities that shoulder waterways across the Appalachian region. In Florida, high winds prompted the closure of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge spanning Tampa Bay, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Tornado watches were in effect Thursday night from northern Florida up through North Carolina.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Thursday evening because of heavy rains and extreme flooding in several areas. More than 500 people in and around Richlands, in southwestern Virginia, were displaced by flooding and needed rescue from their homes, he said in a statement.
Weather-related crashes left at least three people dead and numerous authorities pleaded with motorists to avoid driving where they couldn’t see the pavement.
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