Publication Date February 7, 2020

Five Dead as Severe Storms, Flooding, Tornadoes Slam Southern States; Damage in D.C. Area

United States
flooded ravine

Signals Summary: Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall, and these events are leading to an increase in the risk of extreme runoff and flooding. There is also some evidence that climate change may be increasing the risk of tornadoes

Article Excerpt: At least five people are dead in four states as severe storms, damaging tornadoes and flooding sweep across the South and East.


More than 330,000 customers were without electricity from Florida to Pennsylvania as of 10:15 a.m. Friday, according to Nearly 140,000 of those were in North Carolina and more than 100,000 were in Virginia.

High winds and a possible tornado overnight in Florida caused damage and at least one injury in the Tampa Bay area. Several mobile homes were damaged in Pinellas County, according to Bay News 9. Seven people were trapped rescued after a tree fell and trapped them in a home in Seminole. One was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.


The governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency Thursday evening as severe storms moving across the South spawned damaging tornadoes and high winds and led to flooding in several states.

More than 500 people were displaced and rescued from their homes due to flooding in Tazewell County, Virginia, according to a press release from Gov. Ralph Northam. Dozens of roads in Southwest Virginia were closed or washed out.


First responders near Greenville, South Carolina, rescued about 30 people trapped inside a business due to flooding on the Reedy River late Thursday afternoon, according to WSPA.


Flooding caused problems along Interstate 77 in Mecklenburg County [North Carolina]. The Huntersville Fire Department reported a truck had run off the interstate into a flooded ravine near Gilead Road. The department was also conducting a water rescue on I-77 at Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road.


In southeast Kentucky, Bell County and Harlan County declared a state of emergency because of flooding.

"This appears to be the worst flood that we've had since 1991,” Harlan County Judge Executive Dan Mosley told WLEX.


Residents of the Crescent of Lakeshore Apartments along Shades Creek voluntarily evacuated as water rose around the buildings, reported.

South of Birmingham, Alabama, flash flooding blocked the Interstate 459 ramp to Interstate 65 North near Hoover.

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF0 tornado touched down in Shelby County near Helena, Alabama, just before 2 a.m. Thursday. It knocked over trees and damaged the roof of one home and tore the siding off another.


Intense storms reportedly spawned several tornadoes in Mississippi Wednesday afternoon, though none produced widespread structural damage or were blamed for injuries. In Yazoo County, a mobile home lost its roof, and some barns were damaged, according to