Severe flooding in Midwest, South turns deadly
▶ Watch Video: State of emergency declared in two Georgia counties because of flooding
Severe weather and flooding in the Midwest and South have led to at least one death. A state of emergency has been declared in two counties in Georgia as two days of thunderstorms and heavy rain pounded the state’s north, leading to severe flooding.
Officials in Indiana believe a woman was killed when torrential rains swept away her home. CBS affiliate WTTV in Indianapolis reports five inches of rain fell in Jefferson County Sunday.
The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel tells “CBS Mornings” that torrential rains of up to two inches an hour overwhelmed streets and businesses in Chattooga County, Georgia, making it difficult for people living there to escape the waist-high waters.
Resident Marcus Tutt said, “We were basically trapped. We pretty much, every road we hit, we had to turn around. It was flooded everywhere.”
In the town of Lyerly near the Alabama border, the National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency. A total of 12 inches fell here.
In nearby Summerville, Ga., Todd Tanner’s house was flooded: “I woke up, rolled out of bed, put my feet on the floor and felt my feet in water.”
People in Summerville are now without drinking water, because of flooding at the Raccoon Creek filtration plant – the first time in memory of people here that the plant has been submerged – and so pumps had to be turned off. Contractors will be brought in Monday to assess the damage. But according to the mayor of Summerville, the plant will be unavailable for the next four or five days. And so, for the foreseeable future, the town’s 4,500 residents will have to have water trucked in.
On Sunday Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency in Chattooga and Floyd Counties.
Meanwhile in eastern Texas, according to Storm Center, more than 130,000 utility customers were without power Sunday afternoon.
Missy Fain, of Plano, said, “The wind was, like, blowing really hard, and then all of a sudden, we heard, like, two major pops. And we knew it was the transformer.”
The Midwest fared no better with storms, as a tornado warning was issued in eastern Ohio Sunday. Cars were submerged when multiple inches of rain fell in Mahoning County.
And in Jefferson County, Indiana, floodwaters caused massive destruction, where nine inches of rain fell on Saturday. Officials say a body was found five miles downstream from an area where a woman told 911 she was unable to get out of her house.
The rains are expected to continue through the week.
The Weather Channel’s Jordan Steele calls the weather system a “conveyor belt of moisture” stretching from Mexico through the Gulf and into the northeast. “It is all connected and is bringing down some big rain numbers. Northwest Georgia specifically got five to eight inches of rainfall over the last 24 to 48 hours.”
Steele said the flood footprint may continue through Tuesday, “because the pattern’s not going anywhere. If anything, we’re going to continue to see showers and storms along southern Appalachia where we could maybe see a bull’s-eye. Be careful if a flash flood warning does get triggered in this area.”
As the storm system moves into the Northeast, it could affect people’s Labor Day Weekend travel plans. “Make sure you check the status of your flight before you head to the airport,” Steele said.