Heavy Rains in South Cause Floods, 3 American Deaths

ATLANTA, Sept. 21 (UPI) — Heavy rainfall hampered search efforts Monday for a man presumed dead after he was swept away by storm water in a culvert, Chattanooga, Tenn., officials said.

In Georgia, officials blamed heavy rains and flooded conditions for two deaths in the northern part of the state, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

In Tennessee, emergency crews rescued one of two men who were clinging to a chain link fence to keep from being swept into the culvert after wading into high water near a storm drain, but the other man disappeared, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

Heavy rainfall in the Chattanooga area resulted in multiple reports of flooded vehicles and stranded motorists. The rain also closed several roads and prompted a few evacuations, police said.

Officials in Georgia said the two deaths occurred when cars were swept away by rapidly moving waters.

Rains also forced several schools to close, flooded highways and washed away a main line of the Norfolk Southern railroad, the Journal-Constitution said.

The National Weather Service said up to 15 inches of rain had fallen in parts of Georgia since Friday. Forecasters issued flood watches and warnings through Tuesday for north and central Georgia.

The Interstate 285-Interstate 85 interchange near Atlanta was closed for about 45 minutes during the Monday morning rush hour, the Journal-Constitution said. A mud slide blocked two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane on U.S. 78.

Flash flooding and stranded motorists were reported in Indiana and Kentucky as thunderstorms dumped 4 inches of rain in parts of Louisville and nearly 6 inches in parts of southern Indiana, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal reported.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Cars, Nature & Ecosystems, Other
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