Storm's remnants spawn tornadoes, deluge South

09/06/2011 12:00 AM

09/06/2011 12:08 AM

ATLANTA — The slow-moving remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped a torrent of rain across the South on Monday and whipped up twisters that damaged dozens of Georgia homes as the storm system pushed farther inland. One death was reported, and at least one person was injured.

In Mississippi, a man was swept away by floodwaters after trying to cross a swollen creek, the first death caused by flooding or winds from Lee. The system was sweeping through Alabama and pushing into Georgia, where the suspected tornadoes sent trees falling into homes and injured at least one person.

Damage to homes ranged from ripped-off siding and shingles to holes punched through roofs by falling trees. In all, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency said about 100 homes were damaged in Cherokee County. One man was taken to the hospital with superficial injuries after being hit by flying debris.

In Woodstock, Mickey Swims and his wife hid in their home's basement during the storm.

"I heard it and saw the trees go around and around," Swims said. "I knew when I heard it that if it touched down, it was going to be bad."

Swims owns the Dixie Speedway, where he estimated the storm caused $500,000 worth of damage. That includes about 2,000 feet of chain-link fence uprooted from its concrete base, walls blown out of a restroom and concession stands and tractor-trailer trucks turned into mangled messes.

In other parts of the state, six families were evacuated from a Catoosa County apartment building because of flooding, while slick roads caused an 18-car pileup in Monroe County, said agency spokeswoman Lisa Janak. No one was injured.

"Tropical Storm Lee really made a mess in Georgia," she said.

In areas of Louisiana and Mississippi that took the brunt of the storm over the weekend, at least 16,000 people remained without power as of Monday afternoon.

Heavy rain continued to fall in Mississippi on Monday, and a swollen creek near an apartment complex in Jackson prompted officials to move 45 families into a storm shelter. In Louisiana's Livingston Parish, about 200 families were evacuated because of flooding.

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