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Weekend storms kill seven in Tennessee, four in Mississippi

A motorist passes a section of washed-out road along U.S. 4 between Ashland and Holy Springs Miss., on Sunday. The road collapsed because of flash flooding. The Mississippi Department of Transportation spent Sunday trying to stop further erosion.

Associated Press

A motorist passes a section of washed-out road along U.S. 4 between Ashland and Holy Springs Miss., on Sunday. The road collapsed because of flash flooding. The Mississippi Department of Transportation spent Sunday trying to stop further erosion.

NASHVILLE — Authorities have found the bodies of four more people killed by floods in Nashville.

At least 11 people have been killed in Tennessee and four in Mississippi after a series of powerful, record-setting thunderstorms brought tornadoes, record rains and flooding over the weekend.

City of Nashville spokeswoman Gwen Hopkins says two victims were found Sunday in a flooded house and two were found in an overturned vehicle that was submerged by rising water.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency officials say there is likely a 12th victim, but a body has not been recovered.

At a Sunday news conference, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said it will likely be days before floodwaters recede enough to thoroughly assess the damage to roads and bridges.

Bredesen said he expects to ask for federal disaster designation.

Earlier Sunday, officials asked for the state's National Guard to help with rescue operations.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeremy Heidt confirmed that one person died around 4 a.m. Sunday in a tornado near Pocahontas, about 70 miles east of Memphis. The other deaths in Tennessee were all due to flooding, TEMA said.

Interstate 24 remained closed in Nashville, and segments of I-40 between Nashville and Memphis were blocked.

"The big message we're trying to get out is stay off the road," TEMA spokesman Mike Browning said.

In northern Mississippi, officials said a man died in Corinth after his car was submerged under flood waters.

Two people died in a Benton County mobile home that "looks like you stuck about four sticks of dynamite on it and it just disappeared," said Coroner John Riles.

And in Lafayette County, Emergency Management coordinator David Shaw said one person was killed in Abbe­ville, where 15 or 20 houses were damaged by strong winds.

A spokeswoman at the National Weather Service said it was too early to say whether tornadoes had caused the damage in Mississippi.

A line of thunderstorms Saturday dumped at least 10 inches of rain on Memphis and produced tornadoes and hail along the Mississippi River Valley in Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and northward.

Sunday storms threatened to stymie rescuers trying to reach all of the far-flung areas that have been affected.

The weekend deaths came on the heels of a tornado in Arkansas that killed a woman and injured about two dozen people Friday.

Weekend storms kill seven in Tennessee, four in Mississippi 05/02/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 3, 2010 12:24am]
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