Torrential Rains Bring Massive Floods to the Southeast

September 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
In the southeast, washed-out roads and flooded freeways are adding to the misery after days of torrential rains. The death toll from the floods has climbed to eight after a teenager's body was found in a river.Chimneys and roofs dot the landscape in northwest Georgia where flood waters have inundated neighborhoods prompting a state of emergency.

Thousands of residents have had to evacuate on their own or be rescued.

"We couldn't get our car down the road. There was really no way we could even try to walk out. We had water all around the house, so we really had to be rescued," said rescued homeowner Latisha Brogdon.

The death toll in the southeast now stands at eight after the body of a 15-year-old boy was discovered in the Chattooga River Tuesday morning.

Also in Douglas County, west of Atlanta, a 2-year-old was swept away from his family when a creek ripped open their mobile home.

"Stuff is important, but not as important as your life. I just plead with you to give the water time to recede," said Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R).

The damage and the dangers are widespread, after a straight week of rain dumped several inches in at least 5 states, including Tennessee and North Carolina.

Hundreds of schools are closed. But at Clarksdale Elementary in Georgia, it was one day too late after students and teachers had to flee knee deep water.

Even those whose homes are safe are feeling the impact. Sections of interstates 20, 285 and 575 around Atlanta all shut down due to the floodwaters.

"We have had our turn with tornados but this is something new to us, this water devastation is unbelievable," said flood victim Carrie Knight.

Here in the Atlanta area, there is a flash flood watch in effect until 8:00 pm. And though there will be areas of heavy rain, the good news, there is less rain forecast for Tuesday than in the past week.

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