Death toll from severe weather storms in the U.S. rises to 18

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The death toll in the Southeast climbed to 18 on Saturday after less than a week of tumultuous weather -- unusual warmth, tornadoes and torrential downpours -- sparked flooding and caused damage that wreaked havoc during the Christmas holiday.

See Full Article

Two deaths attributable to weather were reported Saturday in Mississippi: two people who have been missing since Wednesday, bringing that state's death toll to 10. Late Saturday, one death was reported in Alabama.

In Texas, meanwhile, residents hunkered down for what the National Weather Service was calling a "historic blizzard." Some parts of the Panhandle could see as many as 14 inches of snow, with sub-zero wind chills and accumulating ice. Residents in Lubbock and Amarillo prepared for a storm expected to begin Saturday night.

Jason Strunk, the football coach at Lubbock High School, said he was checking his home's pipes and laying out cat litter for traction on his sidewalk and driveway, just as he learned growing up and living in colder climates further north. Strunk's major concern was unprepared drivers going out on wet, icy roads.

"When we get an inch or two, people panic," he said. "They really don't know how to drive in this kind of stuff."

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said 56 injuries were reported. In a statement, Flynn said preliminary damage estimates show 241 homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

More than 400 homes in total were affected, he said. Severe storms are forecast for Sunday night through Monday as a strong cold front pushes through. Tornadoes are possible, and residents are asked to remain alert.

The flooding is the result of heavy downpours that have thrashed the southeastern U.S. since Wednesday, bringing record rainfalls in some areas. Four inches of rain walloped the city of Mobile, Alabama, on Wednesday -- smashing the previous record of 2.2 inches set in 1990.

Six people were killed in Tennessee, including three who were found in a car submerged in a creek, according to the Columbia Police Department. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said Saturday that authorities were monitoring areas for possible flooding.

One person died in Arkansas, and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed.

In Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley on Saturday visited weather-damaged areas in Coffee County. A statement from the governor's office said that about 190 roads across Alabama were closed due to flooding.

Authorities on Saturday recovered the body of a 5-year-old boy who drowned after the car he was riding in was submerged by floodwaters on Friday, said Coffee County Coroner Robert Preachers. The search is ongoing for a 22-year-old man who was also in the car.

The National Weather Service in Huntsville warned residents to avoid driving in areas where flooding was expected.

A flood warning was in effect late Saturday afternoon for parts of northern Alabama. The weather service said that flooding would be experienced in southern Huntsville, Decatur, Madison, Hartselle, Muscle Shoals, Russellville, Sheffield, Tuscumbia, Moulton and Red Bay.

A tornado touched down in Birmingham on Friday evening, but damage was limited.

Peak tornado season in the South is in the spring, but such storms can happen at any time. Exactly a year ago, tornadoes hit Mississippi, killing five people and injuring dozens.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trudeau says housing is a human right — what does that mean exactly?

    Canada News CBC News
    As part of its ambitious national housing strategy, the Liberal government is vowing to enshrine the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right in Canadian law, a symbolic move that has practical considerations. For years there has been an international push to do just that, and Canada is already a signatory to the UN-backed International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognizes housing as a right. Source
  • Refugee lawyers under 'major pressure' amid backlog of asylum claims

    Canada News CBC News
    Even as politicians in Quebec and Ottawa maintain they are prepared for any influx in asylum seekers, immigration lawyers working on the front lines say they are already struggling to deal with a backlog of refugee claimants. Source
  • Unpaid Zara garment workers say they still haven't seen a cent

    World News CBC News
    It was more than a job to them. "We were a family" is what many of the Turkish textile workers who helped make clothes for international fashion brands told CBC News this week. "We felt safe," Bahar Ugur, 26, said. Source
  • Two men charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in prison face sentencing

    Canada News CTV News
    MIRAMICHI, N.B. - Two Halifax men charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in a New Brunswick prison last July are to be sentenced today in Miramichi. Convicted killer Cody Alexander Muise and Aaron Marriott, who was convicted in a 2008 drug shooting, attacked Oland at Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B. Source
  • Papua New Guinea officials pressure asylum seekers to leave camp

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - Papua New Guinea authorities on Thursday removed dozens of asylum seekers and ratcheted up pressure on more than 300 others to abandon a decommissioned immigration camp, where refugees reported their shelters, beds and other belongings have been destroyed. Source
  • Pope Francis to visit three Baltic nations next year

    World News CTV News
    COPENHAGEN - Pope Francis is planning a visit to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia next year, when the three Baltic nations celebrate their 100th anniversaries. Daiva Ulbinaite, a spokeswoman for Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, tells the Baltic News agency the visit is scheduled for autumn of 2018. Source
  • Argentina reports new clues in search for missing submarine

    World News CTV News
    MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - Ships and planes hunting for a missing Argentine submarine with 44 crew members will return to a previously search area after officials said Wednesday that a noise made a week ago in the South Atlantic could provide a clue to the vessel's location. Source
  • Questions surround Mugabe's fate as Zimbabwe prepares for new leader

    World News CTV News
    HARARE, Zimbabwe - As Zimbabwe on Thursday prepared to swear in a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, after 37 years, attention turned to the fate of Robert Mugabe and his wife. The 93-year-old Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday as lawmakers began impeaching him, has not been seen outside a few photographs since his stunning speech to the nation on Sunday night in which he defied calls to step down. Source
  • Colombia rebels trade combat for cameras with new TV network

    World News CTV News
    BOGOTA - In a tiny bathroom, Marilu Ramirez prepares for her segment in a production studio by brushing her long black hair and covering her lashes in another coat of mascara, small luxuries in a life no longer being spent behind bars. Source
  • Ships, aircraft search for 3 missing after crash off Japan's coast

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft were searching in the Philippine Sea on Thursday for three sailors missing since a U.S. Navy aircraft crashed a day earlier. Eight people were rescued about 40 minutes after the crash of the C-2 "Greyhound" transport aircraft Wednesday afternoon, the Navy said. Source