Deadly storms strike Mississippi and Tennessee - - Jackson, MS

Deadly storms strike Mississippi and Tennessee

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

BENTON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - A violent line of thunderstorms swept through northern Mississippi and Tennessee this weekend and killed at least 11 people.  Swollen creeks and rivers flooded streets and homes.  This comes just one week after a strong tornado claimed the lives of ten people in the magnolia state.

Sifting through the rubble of a Benton County mobile home, Terance and Trajon Cowan were looking for any keepsake their brother left behind.

"Looking through stuff, trying to see what I would find of my brother's," said Terance Cowan.

Twenty-six year old Thomas Cowan and his girlfriend, 25-year-old Latoya Long, were killed around 2:30 Sunday morning when strong winds tore open their home.

"My brother and his girlfriend are gone," said Trojan Cowan.

" They found him over there in the ditch and they found her by the road almost," said Trajon Cowan.

About 50 miles away in Lafayette county 45-year-old Phyllis Ann Sabbatini was found dead in her storm ravaged home.  Governor Haley Barbour has declared a state of emergency for Benton, Lafayette, Panola, Tippah and Union counties.  Strong winds were not the only concern.  Flood waters were also on the rise.

Streams formed in some Tupelo neighborhoods.  Rising water soaked homes and businesses.

"I knew it was hitting because of the wind and the trees and everything.  Then I got the phone call, it's hit your building," said the owner of the Trade Day Mall. 

In Tennessee, thousands were evacuated and hundreds more were rescued from their homes.  Nashville rescue teams plucked people from floodwaters.  At least seven people were dead in Tennessee and an eighth person is missing.

"This has actually been in the last 24 hours the most rain this city has ever received since they've been recording," said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.

With the storm clouds lifting thousands of folks in Mississippi and Tennessee will now focus on cleaning up and saving what they can.

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