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Fierce Winter Weather Kills 4 in Southeast

State of emergency declared in Virginia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 7, 2020 12:04 AM CST

(Newser) – Nearly 150,000 homes and businesses in the southeastern United States were without power early Friday after a powerful winter storm raked the region, killing at least four people and injuring several more across the region. Florida bore the brunt of the power outages, with nearly 75,000, according to poweroutages.us. The Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia also reported outages, and tornado watches and warnings were in effect Thursday night from northern Florida up through North Carolina, the AP reports. The National Weather Service advised early Friday that a storm system was expected to strengthen in the mid-Atlantic region, bringing snow, ice, and rain north. Authorities in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee confirmed four storm-related fatalities.

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Thursday's storm destroyed mobile homes in Mississippi and Alabama, caused mudslides in Tennessee and Kentucky, and flooded communities that shoulder waterways across the Appalachian region. Rain kept falling over a path of splintered trees and sagging power lines that stretched from Louisiana into Virginia. School districts canceled classes in state after state as bad weather rolled through. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Thursday evening because of heavy rains and extreme flooding. More than 500 people in southwestern Virginia were displaced by flooding and needed rescue from their homes, he said in a statement. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Valley Authority warned that people residing near rivers and lakes should prepare for rapidly changing water levels.

(Read more winter storm stories.)

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