The weather system that spawned tornadoes that killed at least 35 people this week throughout the South and Midwest is dumping heavy rain, triggering fears of major flooding.
After a slew of tornadoes that began overnight Sunday, forecasts for a third day of deadly twisters on Tuesday thankfully did not entirely hold up. Although there were reports of eight tornadoes in North Carolina, they caused only minor damage and no injuries. Another four tornadoes were spotted in eastern and central South Carolina.
But there were no reports of fatalities, unlike with the tornadoes that ripped through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, killing 35 people.
Flooding is now the overriding concern.
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings and watches for large areas of the East and parts of the South, from New York to Alabama.
In the area of Fayetteville, N.C., there have already been reports of flash flooding as some drivers were stranded by rising water and had to be pulled from their vehicles. One person was reported dead in flash flooding in the Florida Panhandle. Flooding in Pensacola was being described by officials as “life-threatening” and of “historic” proportions.
Meanwhile, the cleanup has begun in states hard-hit by this week’s storms
“We will overcome this,” Louisville, Miss., Mayor Will Hill said against a backdrop of hundreds of damaged buildings, including two hilltop churches pounded to rubble, The Associated Press reports. “We’re going to work together.”
The AP adds:
“Authorities in Louisville searched until dark Tuesday for an 8-year-old boy missing since Monday’s large tornado that killed his parents and destroyed the home where they lived. Though searchers didn’t rule out finding the boy alive, officials were describing the process as one of ‘recovery.’ ”