Eight Dead in Southeast Floods

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 22, 2009 10:34 AM CDT
A female motorist abandons her flooded vehicle on I-85 South near Lilburn, Ga., as part of the highway becomes covered with water during rush hour on Monday, Sept. 21, 2009.    (CURTIS COMPTON)
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(Newser) – Washed-out roads and flooded interstate highways around Atlanta added to the misery today after days of torrential rain in the Southeast that claimed at least eight lives, including a 15-year-old boy whose body was found in the Chattooga River. Authorities urged people who don't need to drive to stay home, a day after Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency in 17 counties.

"It's going to be a long morning. We're asking people to be patient," said a Department of Transportation spokeswoman. The good news was that the rain was tapering off in many areas. The National Weather Service said there was more rain to come, but the likelihood and severity will decline in the coming days. Days of downpours have saturated the ground from Alabama to western North Carolina, just months after an epic two-year drought in the region ended.