Storms batter South; flood kills 2-year-old

Associated Press
Robert Palmer pulls his new lawn mower from the remains of his shed in Jackson, Miss. The tree was toppled by a storm.

JACKSON, Miss. --- Strong thunderstorms toppled trees, knocked out power and damaged homes Friday in Mississippi and Alabama, while flooding in Kentucky forced evacuations and left a 2-year-old girl dead.


Across Mississippi, fast-moving storms unleashed possible tornadoes, heavy rain and some hail. Power failures were reported in several communities, including near downtown Vicksburg and in Jackson.

At least 90,000 customers of Entergy Mississippi lost power Friday, said company spokesman Checky Herrington. It will probably be Monday before power is restored, Ms. Herrington said.

Amid scattered damage in north Alabama, no injuries were reported, but forecasters said tornadoes would be a threat for hours in central counties. School systems throughout the Birmingham area dismissed students ahead of a wave of storms.

In Kentucky, rivers and streams surged over their banks as rainfall reached a half-foot in some areas.

Two-year-old Kate Hearod died Friday after her mother rounded a curve before dawn in western Kentucky, drove into high water and lost control of her vehicle, state police said.

In and near Little Rock, Ark., residents were cleaning up from its latest bout of bad weather: a tornado Thursday night.