South storms: 3 more deaths confirmed; 14 total

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) – The latest on the severe storms moving across the U.S. (all times local):

8:05 p.m.

The overall death toll from violent storms in the Southeast has risen to 14 people in three states.

Tennessee emergency management officials said in a statement Thursday night that three more people in the state were confirmed dead in the storms. The statement describes the victims as a 19-year-old female and two 22-year-old males. Officials say they died in Maury County. The statement says no further details are available.

The latest deaths bring the total killed in the Tennessee storms to six. In addition, seven people were killed in Mississippi and one died in Arkansas.

The previous deaths in Tennessee were a 70-year-old male and a 69-year-old female in Perry County, and a 22-year-old male in Rhea County.

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6:20 p.m.

A Mississippi sheriff has identified four of the seven people killed in the state as violent storms ravaged the South a day before Christmas.

Benton County Sheriff A.A. McMullen said Thursday that the four people killed in his area were 69-year-old Max Croxton and his wife, 67-year-old Ellen Croxton, both of Faulkner; 67-year-old William E. Crawford, of Lamar; and 58-year-old Patricia G. Williams, of Lamar.

McMullen says all three homes of the victims were completely destroyed. Crawford and Williams were neighbors on the same street.

Meanwhile, McMullen says crews are still searching for 47-year-old Michael A. Nunnally, of Lamar.

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4 p.m.

The overall death toll from violent storms in the Southeast has risen to 11 people in three states.

A seventh death was confirmed Thursday in Mississippi as a result of severe weather that swept through the state. In addition, three people died in Tennessee and one was killed in Arkansas.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says four deaths were reported in Benton County, two in Marshall County and one in Tippah County.

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12:20 p.m.

Torrential storms dumped 10 inches of rain or more across parts of southeast Alabama, causing widespread flooding Thursday.

Muddy water covered dozens of roads, forcing holiday travelers to take long detours. In Chambers County, emergency officials said two roads had collapsed because of rain, causing natural gas leaks from ruptured lines.

Photos posted to social media showed cars covered by water in multiple counties and a washed-out road that resembled a waterfall in Macon County. Pike County authorities asked drivers to stay off roads until noon Friday.

The National Weather Service said a widespread swath of Coffee County received as much as 10 inches of rain in a 24-hour period ending 7 a.m. Thursday, and a foot of rain was recorded north of Enterprise. Rainfall totals of as much as 4 inches were common.

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12:50 p.m.

Storms extending from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast caused hundreds of flight delays for travelers trying to get home for Christmas.

Long lines filled concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Thursday, and flight status boards showed multiple flight cancelations.

FlightAware, a website that tracks airline flights, showed 550 flights had been canceled nationwide with 4,276 delays by midday. Atlanta had the largest percentage of delays, according to the site, but many flights also were late in New York and Washington, D.C.

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12:30 p.m.

Authorities say heavy rains caused a mudslide on a mountain in north Georgia, flooded a movie theater lobby and inundated and closed several roads across the state.

The emergency manager in Fannin County told the National Weather Service that the mudslide blocked Mountain Top Road on Thursday, and several trees were also down in the area, about 100 miles north of Atlanta near the community of Dial.

The LaGrange Daily News reports the Carmike Cinemas LaGrange 10 was closed after a cleaning crew found the lobby full of water.

The heavy rains are part of a line of severe thunderstorms moving across the Southeast. At least 10 people have died in the storms.

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10:50 a.m.

Emergency officials say six people have been confirmed dead in Mississippi while searches continue for people missing in communities with severe storm damage.

The overall storm death toll is now at least 10 people who were killed in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said Thursday that four people have been confirmed dead in Benton County and two were killed in Marshall County.

Flynn says search crews are looking for others who are missing.

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8:30 a.m.

Authorities say teams of searchers are looking for three people still missing in Mississippi after Wednesday’s tornadoes.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said Thursday a 35-person team was out looking for the two unaccounted people in Benton County, where he said at least two people died in the storms.

Flynn said another team was searching for the missing person in Tippah County, just southeast of Benton.

At least seven people have been killed across the southeastern U.S. as fierce spring-like storms hit Wednesday.

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8:25 a.m.

Emergency officials in Tennessee say they have confirmed a third death from severe storms that spawned tornados across the Southeast, bringing the total death toll across the region to at least seven.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said Thursday morning that a 22-year-old man died in Rhea County, about 75 miles southwest of Knoxville.

The agency says two other people – a 70-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman – were killed in Perry County, about 85 miles southwest of Nashville.

Tennessee officials say storms damaged 12 or more homes in McNairy County and destroyed a post office in Wayne County, while isolated damage was reported in 11 other counties.

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7:45 a.m.

Temperatures across the South and up the East Coast were unseasonably warm as the worst of the storms passed.

In Birmingham, Alabama, the National Weather Service said the temperature rose to 73 degrees overnight, setting a record high for a low temperature for Dec. 23. The old record, 72 degrees, was set in 1970.

Temperatures were in the mid- to upper 70s along the Gulf Coast. In Barbour County, Alabama, emergency management director David Logan said it felt more like summer than Christmas Eve early Thursday.

High temperature records are tumbling across upstate New York as the early winter warmup continues across the region.

Record highs already have been recorded early on Christmas Eve in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse as temperatures top 60 degrees in each city. Albany’s 58 degrees Thursday morning broke the previous record of 57 set on Dec. 24, 1941.

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7:15 a.m.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says dozens of people are being treated for injuries after Wednesday’s tornado outbreak.

Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said just before dawn Thursday that injuries are “more than 40 for sure, and some of those are quite serious.” He said some of the injuries include amputations.

Flynn says initial indications are that more than 50 houses were hit.

At least six people have been killed across the country as fierce spring-like storms hit Wednesday.

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6:20 a.m.

Emergency officials were checking for possible tornado damage before dawn on Christmas Eve in southeast Alabama after the National Weather Service said radar showed what appeared to be a mass of debris from a tornado.

Police say splintered trees covered a road near Clayton.

Alabama Power Co. says about 3,500 homes and businesses are without power, most in the Mobile area and southeastern Alabama, where forecasters say torrential rain was falling at a rate of 5 inches an hour. The weather service says more than 9 inches of rain fell overnight in Coffee County.

Flood watches and warnings covered parts of the state.

To the north, a weather service team was headed to Lauderdale County, Alabama’s northwestern corner, to determine whether a tornado was to blame for damage that included downed trees and damaged homes.

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4 a.m.

Residents of northern Mississippi and across the Southeast were beginning to take stock after fierce storms that killed at least six across the region whipped through.

The deadly spring-like storms killed three in Mississippi, two others in Tennessee and one in Arkansas before the worst passed Wednesday night.

Mulester Johnson says he and relatives were inside his house in Holly Springs, Mississippi, when the storm hit.

He says the wind tore the back of his house from its foundation and multiple sheds were missing afterward. Trees rested atop several trucks on his property, and slabs of brick walls were strewn throughout his yard.

Officials say a 7-year-old boy died in Holly Springs, Mississippi, when the storm picked up and tossed the car he was riding in.

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