Remnants of Jeanne flood parts of Georgia and the Carolinas; two deaths in S.C.
ALBANY, Ga. (AP) -- Heavy rain from the remnants of Jeanne flooded low-lying areas, uprooted trees and loosened the earth at a cemetery in south Georgia, washing coffins from the ground. Two deaths were blamed on the storm in South Carolina.
Jeanne, downgraded from a hurricane after cutting a swath of destruction through Florida over the weekend, steered north Monday evening as a tropical depression, spawning tornadoes and flash floods across the Deep South. The weakened weather system was expected to move into the mid-Atlantic states Tuesday.
Buildings and other property was damaged by winds whipped up by tornadoes Monday in parts of the Carolinas, and thousands of Georgia households were without power.
In South Carolina, forecasters said the fringes of Jeanne could produce treacherous rip currents and beach erosion along the coastline.
A man died early Tuesday after he was thrown from his mobile home by an apparent tornado Monday evening near Ridgeway, S.C., Fairfield County Chief Deputy Keith Lewis said. About a dozen people were taken to the hospital, where they were treated and released, he said. Five homes were destroyed.
Another man died late Monday when his car ran off a rain-slicked highway and struck a utility pole near Winnsboro, S.C.
At 5 a.m. Tuesday, Jeanne was located about 28 miles east-southeast of Greenville, S.C. The storm, with highest sustained winds of 20 mph, was moving north-northeast at 20 mph.
Emergency management officials in some Georgia counties reported that initial damage estimates from Jeanne were ďż˝three times as bad as Frances,ďż˝ said Jennifer Collins, of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
Jeanne washed out dozens of roads, damaged a courthouse roof and downed trees in hard-hit Charlton County, which includes much of the Okefenokee Swamp.
A handful of coffins also were washed up in Folkston, Ga., when flooding hit a cemetery there.
ďż˝That sometimes happens, unfortunately, when we have flooding,ďż˝ Collins said. ďż˝But authorities responded extremely quickly, identified the bodies and were notifying families.ďż˝
No injuries had been reported early Tuesday in North Carolina, where Gov. Mike Easley declared a state of emergency and activated National Guard troops.
Possible tornadoes spun out ahead of the storm swept down parts of buildings, flipped cars and toppled trees and power lines in central North Carolina. The state already had been hit this year by the storms or remnants of the storms Alex, Bonnie, Charley, Gaston, Frances and Ivan.
ďż˝If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, the best thing to do is to get out,ďż˝ said Tim Miller, western coordinator for the North Carolina Emergency Management Office.
Georgiaďż˝s Gov. Sonny Perdue also declared a state of emergency.