Winds lash the East, knock out power; roads flood - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Winds lash the East, knock out power; roads flood

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A mobile home is surrounded by flood waters on Mt. Tabor Rd. in Morgan County, near the city of Hartselle, Ala., Nov. 30, 2010. Flooding closed several roads in the county but no injuries were reported. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.) A mobile home is surrounded by flood waters on Mt. Tabor Rd. in Morgan County, near the city of Hartselle, Ala., Nov. 30, 2010. Flooding closed several roads in the county but no injuries were reported. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)

ATLANTA (AP) — Winds whipped across the East Coast on Wednesday as the region wrestled with yet another day of heavy rain and severe weather that knocked out power to thousands, slowed commuters and caused widespread damage.

Tornado watches were issued for parts of the Virginias, and officials in Washington, D.C., handed out sandbags to protect homes from flooding. Thousands of customers were without electricity in the mid-Atlantic area and New York, and some schools delayed openings.

The storm system has brought suspected tornadoes to several Southeastern states since Monday, from Louisiana to South Carolina. The system was headed toward the Northeast, with colder air turning the rain into snow.

In the north Georgia town of Buford, a possible tornado damaged more than 50 homes, but no injuries were reported.

The entire side of Mike Croker's two-story home was ripped off, exposing a living room with furniture and a staircase. Croker, 54, who has lived near Buford his entire life, said he was inside when the sound of roaring wind brought him to his knees and forced him to crawl into his bathroom.

"The kitchen's gone; the great room's gone," Croker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It looks like to me it's pretty well leveled."

Other pictures of Croker's neighborhood showed shingles torn off homes and debris scattered across front yards.

In Tennessee, a rock slide followed two inches of rain, blocking part of a highway between Knoxville and the airport. Flooding closed roads in the Carolinas, which saw up to six inches of rain in some areas. In Greenville County, S.C., 50-year-old Rita Hunter of Travelers Rest was killed Tuesday when she lost control of her car on a wet roadway, struck a tree and overturned.

Wet, wintry weather in Pennsylvania caused flooding and delayed school openings. More than 3 inches of rain had fallen in Pittsburgh since Tuesday morning, National Weather Service officials said, and the drenching forced the evacuation of dorms at the University of Pittsburgh satellite campus in Bradford near the New York state line. Classes were canceled.

Earlier, the storm brought suspected tornadoes to Louisiana and Mississippi, where more than a dozen people were injured. In Yazoo City, Miss., which was hit several months ago by a severe tornado, 63-year-old Clarence Taylor said the town again looked like a war zone. The winds blew off a tarp he had put on his roof to cover damage from the April storm.

"This is the second time it dropped down on this street in just six months," Taylor said. "I've been through it, man."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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