Severe Weather Across USA Leaves Over 40 Dead – Major Flooding in Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee

A wave of severe weather events, including heavy snow, storms, flooding and tornadoes, has left as many as 43 people dead across the USA over the last few days.

On Sunday 27 December, 11 people were killed as tornadoes swept through Dallas, Texas. Governor Greg Abbott made disaster declarations for the counties of Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and Ellis.

Also on 27 December, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency after a severe snow storm hit the southeastern part of the state. Martinez said. “I cannot express how serious the situation is. The southeastern part of the state has 16 to 20 inches of snow with snow drifts of 8 to 10 feet.”

Authorities in southern Illinois said that three adults and two children drowned on 26 December when their vehicle was swept away the flood waters of a swollen creek.

Over the weekend of 25 to 27 December, floods in Missouri left 8 people dead. Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, has since declared a state of emergency.

Earlier storms in the south east of the country on 23 December resulted in 19 deaths. Two were reported killed in Alabama, 10 in Mississippi, 6 in Tennessee and one in Arkansas.

Missouri Floods

Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri on 27 December 2015 as heavy rain, flooding and flash flooding continued to impact much of the state.

He said in his statement that heavy rains have led to widespread flooding and at least eight fatalities have been reported. More heavy rain and additional flooding is expected and river levels are forecast to continue to rise over the next several days.

Missouri State Highway Patrol has conducted dozens of water rescues, and assisted in the evacuation of residents from flooded areas.  Multiple roadways have been closed due to floods and the Governor urged those in flood-affected areas to avoid travel if possible.

Mississippi Storm and Floods

10 people have died in storms and floods in Mississippi since 23 December. Six deaths occurred in Benton County, one in Coahoma County two in Marshall County and one in Tippah County.

Storms and heavy rain continued over the next 3 days and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) say that 10 water rescues were carried out in Monroe County due to the floodwaters.

Preliminary damage reports show 241 homes were destroyed or sustained major damage and more than 400 total homes affected. Governor Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency for all affected areas of the state.

Tennessee Floods and Storms

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) declared a Level III-State of Emergency, on 23 December, due to severe storms and tornadoes.

More severe storms and heavy rain impacted Tennessee during the following days, resulting in significant flooding in many counties, in particular in East Tennessee, where as much as 5 inches of rain was reported in some areas, according to TEMA.

Around 22 counties have been affected, including Marion county where several swift water rescues were carried out. The heavy rain and consequent flooding caused damage to road and bridges as well as homes, businesses and some public facilities, including a sewer treatment plant in Morristown in Hamblen County.

TEMA say that there have been 6 weather-related deaths, although TEMA do not specify if the deaths are a result of storm damage or flooding. The deaths occurred in Maury County (3), Perry County (2)  and Rhea County.