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On Winter Storm Lucian's Warm Side, Thunderstorms, Tornadoes and 2 Deaths
Heavy rain, thunderstorms and deadly flooding on the warm side of Winter Storm Lucian were causing trouble from Arkansas and southern Missouri and southern Illinois into Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.
In addition to the flooding, the storm system spawned at least six tornadoes, most of which were rated EF0, the weakest on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
The flooding has been blamed for two deaths, and rivers continued to rise in the Ohio Valley as heavy rainfall persisted.
The storms caused damage across northern Arkansas early Thursday. Trees and power lines were knocked down and several people were trapped inside damaged structures in Marion County, KATV reported, after tornado warnings were issued around 4:30 a.m. local time.
A preliminary damage survey from the National Weather Service found EF1 damage in Marion County.
Power was knocked out in parts of Yell and Pope counties. Trees fell on homes in Pulaski County, the Arkansas Democrat and Gazette reported.
Little Rock, Benton and Maumelle also had reports of trees and power lines falling.
About 2,500 customers across the state had no electricity as of 1:30 p.m., according to poweroutage.us.
Central Indiana was slammed by high winds and flooding. Parts of Bloomington, including the Indiana University campus, experienced flooding.
The Bargersville Fire Department rescued three people from the roof of their car in Franklin, Indiana, WISH-TV reported. In other parts of Johnson County, several roads were closed because of high water.
Southbound Interstate 65 in Bartholomew County, about 5 miles north of Columbus, was blocked by a jackknifed tractor trailer, the Indiana State Patrol reported. Several water-related crashes were reported along Interstate 74, where clogged drains caused water to back up onto the road.
In southwestern Indiana, the NWS confirmed an EF0 tornado was in progress near the town of Decker on Thursday.
Officials in Harlan County declared a state of emergency after a mudslide closed a lane of State Highway 72 and threatened as many as 300 nearby homes, WKYT.com reported. The emergency declaration is an attempt to secure state funding in order to prevent a larger mudslide from happening, the report added.
In Henderson County, the NWS said an EF1 tornado was in progress late Thursday just north of the town of Robards. The twister had maximum winds of 100 mph and stayed on the ground for two minutes.
The NWS confirmed a pair of EF0 tornadoes were in progress Wednesday in Tennessee. The first touched down just after 2:30 p.m. local time south of Milton in Rutherford County, and the second twister was in progress a few minutes before 10 p.m. in Wilson County, east of Nashville.
Major flash flooding across Middle Tennessee on Wednesday night killed one person.
The death occurred in Pegram, Tennessee, when a 53-year-old woman was swept away by floodwaters while trying to walk across a bridge, according to an NWS report. Pegram is located about 20 miles west of Nashville. The Tennessean reported the woman was visiting a relative and crossed the bridge to move her car. Her body has been recovered.
Numerous water rescues also occurred overnight in the Nashville area, the NWS said. East Tennessee also saw flooding Wednesday night, WATE reported.
Heavy rain had ended in Middle Tennessee by early Thursday morning, but some roads remained closed due to flooding.
An estimated 3 to 6 inches of rain fell in Middle Tennessee Wednesday night when a band of heavy rain stalled over the region.
Nashville International Airport picked up 4 inches of rain Wednesday, more than the city's average rainfall for the entire month of February (3.94 inches).
The Pike County Sheriff's Office said flooding may have contributed to the death of Donald L. Denny, 58, of Wellston, the Columbus Dispatch reported. Denny's body was found in the middle of State Road 124 early Thursday. Deputies think he may have overexerted himself while trying to escape his car that was swept into a river.
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries Wednesday in Springfield Township when a tree fell on the roof of her car, WKRC reported. The car ran off the road and up an embankment where it hit another tree and overturned.
The NWS confirmed a weak tornado touched down Thursday in Clark County, near Pitchin, but said the findings were preliminary.
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