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

  • Man seen in photos now 'main suspect' in Indiana double homicide

    World News Toronto Sun
    DELPHI, Ind. — A man photographed walking along a northern Indiana trail system around the time two teenage girls later found slain were dropped off by a relative is now considered “the main suspect” in their killings, State Police said Sunday. Source
  • Father of teen drug user urges parents to band together to save lives

    Canada News CTV News
    As an Ottawa-area family laid their 14-year-old daughter to rest Sunday following an apparent overdose, a local father is speaking up about his own teenage daughter’s struggle with drugs in the hope of saving lives. Source
  • Colorado town getting weed shop with drive-through window

    World News CTV News
    PARACHUTE, Colo. - The western Colorado town of Parachute is getting a drive-through marijuana shop believed to be the first in the state. The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported Saturday the Parachute Board of Trustees approved a business license for Tumbleweed Express last week. Source
  • Edmonton police issue ticket for wearing a ferret while driving

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A 24-hour traffic enforcement event by Edmonton police resulted in 2,442 violations, including a distracted driving ticket for a motorist wearing a live ferret around their neck while cruising along Whyte Avenue. Police issued 90 additional distracted driving tickets during the enforcement period from Feb. Source
  • Douglas Garland back in jail after inmate beating

    Canada News CBC News
    Douglas Garland is back behind bars, having been released from hospital after suffering a beating by fellow inmates at the Calgary Remand Centre late Friday night. Just hours after Garland, 57, was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 75 years for the first-degree murders of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson Nathan O'Brien, he was attacked by multiple inmates, suffering what EMS described as soft-tissue injuries. Source
  • Adolf Hitler's phone sold for US$243,000

    World News Toronto Sun
    CHESAPEAKE CITY, MD. - A Maryland auction house is selling Adolf Hitler’s personal travelling telephone. Bill Panagopulos of Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City says occupying Russian officers gave the phone to Brig. Sir Ralph Rayner during a visit to Hitler’s Berlin bunker. Source
  • Telephone owned by Adolf Hitler sells for $243,000

    World News CTV News
    CHESAPEAKE CITY, Md. - A telephone owned by Adolf Hitler has sold at auction for $243,000. Andreas Kornfeld of Alexander Historical Auctions says the phone sold Sunday afternoon to a person who bid by phone. Source
  • 'More of the same or change': Ecuador voters head to polls in presidential election

    World News CBC News
    Ecuadoreans are choosing Sunday between a candidate who vows to continue President Rafael Correa's populist platform or one of several more conservative contenders who pledge to attack corruption and cut taxes to stimulate the Andean nation's flagging economy. Source
  • Bomb explodes by Colombia bull ring, injuring 26

    World News CTV News
    BOGOTA -- A homemade bomb exploded near Bogota's bullring on Sunday, injuring two dozen police officers and two civilians, Colombian authorities said. The explosive device, which shattered windows in nearby apartment buildings, appeared to have been left in a sewer outside a new youth hostel popular with foreign backpackers. Source
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security seeks to aggressively detain immigrants

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Homeland Security Department has drafted sweeping new guidelines aimed at aggressively detaining and deporting immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, according to a pair of memoranda signed by DHS Secretary John Kelly. Source