At least 5 people have died and hundreds have evacuated their homes after a powerful winter storm swept through southeastern USA from 04 February, 2020.
High winds and heavy rains have caused widespread damage. More than 110,000 homes were without power.
Severe flash flooding has been reported in parts of Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Tornado watches have been issued for areas from Florida to North Carolina.
Three people have died in weather-related crashes. Vehicles skidded off flooded roads causing fatalities in Knoxville in Tennessee, Gaston County in North Carolina, and Fort Mill in South Carolina.
One person died and another was injured after strong winds destroyed two mobile homes near Demopolis, Alabama. Another fatality was reported near Sevierville, Tennessee, when a tree fell on a vehicle.
Floods in South East USA
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on 06 February because of heavy rains and extreme flooding in several areas.
The flooding has affected homes and required rescue of citizens, particularly in Southwest Virginia. According to reports from emergency officials, more than 500 residents in and around the town of Richlands in Tazewell County have been displaced by flooding and needed rescue from their homes. A number of roads in Southwest Virginia are closed or washed out.
Parts of northern Tennessee recorded more than 5 inches (127mm) of rain in 48 hours to 06 February. Dozens of roads have been closed in the area, in particular around Knoxville and Sevier County. NWS Morristown warned that several rivers are at or approaching flood stage.
NWS Nashville reported flooded roads across Middle Tennessee, especially southern and eastern counties. On 05 February, the city of Crossville set a record daily maximum rainfall of 2.96 inches (75.18 mm), beating the previous record of 2.38″ (60.45 mm) set in 2004.
In Kentucky, Harlan, Bell and Knox counties have declared local states of emergency.
In Bell County, roads have been washed out and heavy rain has triggered landslides. In Harlan County, flooding swept two mobile homes of their foundations, prompting the evacuation of dozens of families.
According to NWS Louisville and Jackson, the heavy rain has been followed by snow in some parts of the state.
In Alabama, residents have evacuated apartment buildings in Homewood after the nearby Shades Creek broke its banks. Flooding has closed roads in several locations of the state, in particular in Shelby and Etowah Counties.
Images from Tazewell County, one of the areas hardest hit hardest by today’s flooding. Richlands was particularly impacted, prompting some evacuations. Local and state swiftwater rescue teams are assisting. Follow local media for info about how flooding might impact your area. pic.twitter.com/s1aWIbzbb6
— VDEM (@VDEM) February 6, 2020
Sevier Co remains under a Flood Watch. Many roads have had issues throughout the night hours. Be sure to take extra time if travel is necessary due to potential road closures or hazardous roads. If you find a road with water on it do not drive through it #TurnAroundDontDrown. pic.twitter.com/Yj9g9igzcT
— Sevier County EMA (@EmaSevier) February 6, 2020
— Knoxville Police TN (@Knoxville_PD) February 6, 2020
Please pray for my family's safety down in Wallins Creek and Harlan Kentucky area. Horrible flooding… pic.twitter.com/JJL82WFRvc
— David MacLaren (@davidimaclaren) February 7, 2020
— Connor James (@ConnorWYMT) February 6, 2020
— Homewood Fire Dept (@HomewoodALFire) February 6, 2020
Right lane of Hwy 31 North at Pacific Pride is flooded. Utilize the inside lane for now!
— Pelham Police Dept (@PelhamPoliceAL) February 6, 2020