At Least 19 Dead as Storms Pound Southeast

A massive system of rain and thunderstorms that spawned tornadoes continued to pound the Southeast on Monday, leaving at least 19 dead in its wake and displacing or stranding thousands of people. The storm moved through north Georgia on Monday, flooding streets in Atlanta and delaying flights into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported there. But the rain and flooding left at least 12 dead in Tennessee, state and Nashville officials said. The latest fatality was discovered Monday morning, the Nashville mayor's office said. Six deaths occurred in the Nashville area, officials said. In Mississippi, two tornadoes killed three people Sunday, and a fourth person died in a rain-related traffic accident. Three people died in storm-related incidents in southern and south-central Kentucky, emergency services spokesman

SOURCE: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/weather/05/03/tennessee.flooding.deaths/index.html?hpt=T2

Severe Southeast Storms Cause Flooding

Severe Southeast Storms Cause Flooding

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- A massive system of rain and thunderstorms that spawned tornadoes continued to pound the Southeast on Monday, leaving at least 19 dead in its wake and displacing or stranding thousands of people.

The storm moved through north Georgia on Monday, flooding streets in Atlanta and delaying flights into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported there.

But the rain and flooding left at least 12 dead in Tennessee, state and Nashville officials said. The latest fatality was discovered Monday morning, the Nashville mayor's office said. Six deaths occurred in the Nashville area, officials said.

In Mississippi, two tornadoes killed three people Sunday, and a fourth person died in a rain-related traffic accident.

Three people died in storm-related incidents in southern and south-central Kentucky, emergency services spokesman "Buddy" Rogers said Monday.

Video: iReporter: 'Once-in-a-lifetime flood'

iReport: Have you been affected by the flooding? Send photos, video

In hard-hit Tennessee, the storm closed interstates, prompted evacuations of hotels and nursing homes, and turned streets and parking lots into raging rivers.

Latest updates on the storm

"Our neighborhood is completely cut off from the outside world," said Nashville resident and CNN iReport contributor John Rives. "There are over 100 homes in the neighborhood, with over a dozen submerged in water.

"... It's going to take years to fully recover from this flood."

Parts of Tennessee have been drenched with 20 inches of rain.

CNN affiliate WKRN-TV: Flooding in downtown Nashville

Nashville officials were keeping an eye on the Cumberland River, which runs through the city. The river was expected to crest at just over 51 feet, more than 11 feet above flood stage.

"All of our major creeks and the Cumberland River are near flood level, if not at flood level," Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said at a news conference Sunday. "The ground is entirely saturated, and the rain continues to fall. There's nowhere for the water to go."

Dean said Sunday that more rain has fallen in Nashville in the last 24 hours than has ever been recorded in the city.

Video: Volunteers help in flood rescues

iReport: Nashville residents help out

The National Weather Service advised that major flooding was expected to continue along the river Monday, followed by a gradual decrease in water levels. The river was expected to fall below flood stage late Tuesday night.

About 12,000 sandbags have been delivered -- 6,000 in Nashville and 6,000 in Jackson.

WKRN: Opryland Hotel guests evacuated

Smyrna, Tennessee, about 14 miles south of Nashville, also was flooded, said CNN iReporter Tom Frundle. Many residents were stranded, he said.

"The floodwaters were moving pretty quick, and it was getting pretty bad, and I wasn't going to be able to get through," he said. "I had to turn around."

Watch Frundle's footage on his area's flooding Video

Frundle said the flooding is as bad as he's ever seen.

"I've lived in different parts of the country, and I've never seen anything like this," he told CNN.

Video: Nashville stores try to salvage goods

Lexington, Tennessee, west of Nashville, also was hard hit and flooded over the weekend.

Now that the water has started to recede, a water main break has shut off the town's supply, said iReporter John Ellis. The shut-off has forced businesses to close and led to a run on bottled water at a Wal-Mart.

"You can't take showers. You can't flush your toilets," Ellis said.

"It's just a crazy, crazy last two days," he said. "I think people are just worn out emotionally."

The American Red Cross reported that about 800 people were housed in 20 shelters in Tennessee.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain were forecast to continue in north Georgia through Monday afternoon, with rainfall of up to an inch an hour possible, the National Weather Service said.

The storm snarled the morning commute in metro Atlanta, one of the most congested traffic areas in the nation.

Before reaching Georgia, the storm moved through Mississippi, where officials in Benton County reported two deaths and Lafayette and Union counties had one each. The three counties are in north-central Mississippi.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes in the area.

One tornado touched down in Benton and Tippah counties in Mississippi and Hardeman County in Tennessee, the weather service said.

That tornado caused two fatalities and a critical injury when a double-wide mobile home was destroyed east of Ashland, Mississippi, the weather service said.

Video: Aerial views of Tennessee flooding

The tornado also killed a person in Pocahontas, Tennessee, when a single-wide trailer was demolished, the weather agency said.

A second tornado hit Lafayette County in Mississippi. One person was killed when a single-family home was destroyed, the weather service said.

Sunday's deaths in Mississippi came eight days after a monster tornado tore through the state and killed 10 people.

In Tennessee, parts of Nashville were evacuated as a precautionary measure, the state's emergency management office said Monday morning.

Video: Nashville resident captures "rapids" on neighborhood streets

The Tennessee Highway Patrol provided food and water to stranded motorists on westbound Interstate 40 at the rest stop at mile marker 172 near the Dickson exit. The motorists had been stranded there for about 15 hours.

Authorities reported that 91 trucks were stranded between mile markers 192 and 196 on eastbound I-40. Truck operators were offered help to evacuate, but all opted to stay with their rigs.

CNN affiliate WTVF-TV: Nashville newsroom flooded

Nashville's K.R. Harrington Water Treatment Plant will remain closed for several days, prompting Metro Water Services to order Davidson County residents to use water only for drinking and food preparation.

The public water supply provided by Metro Water Services continues to be safe, the Nashville mayor's office said.