US storms: Flooding and tornadoes kill five people

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Media captionCameras caught the moment a dog was rescued from a collapsed home in Tennessee

At least five people have been killed as a strong storm system caused flooding, hail and high winds in central and southern US states over the weekend, officials say.

Three people died in Kentucky as tornadoes ripped through the state.

A 79-year-old woman was killed in her home, and two other victims were recovered from submerged vehicles.

Emergencies were declared in several states as heavy rainfall continued to cause widespread flooding on Sunday.

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Authorities linked the following deaths to the weekend weather:

  • Dallas Jane Combs, 79, was killed when she was hit by debris as a tornado passed over and destroyed her south western Kentucky home
  • An unnamed man was found dead after his car was submerged in a creek in Simpson County, Kentucky
  • A 77-year-old man, named as Joseph Lee Nally, was killed when his car was submerged in a ditch in Union County, Kentucky
  • In Kalamazoo in south-western Michigan, the body of a 48-year-old man was found floating in flood waters
  • In Arkansas, an 83-year-old man was killed after high winds toppled a mobile home

The daughter of Mrs Combs told local media that the tornado “flattened everything” in her parents’ home when it struck on Saturday afternoon.

Her father, who was putting sandbags down outside when it struck, said he was sucked into the property’s basement as the high winds hit.

“He lost everything in 12 minutes,” Tammy Brown said. The couple were months away from their 60th wedding anniversary.

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The governor of Indiana issued disaster declarations for 11 counties due to flooding

Tornadoes were also recorded in Tennessee, with sustained winds recorded of up to 125mph (200km/h).

No deaths were reported there, but a teenage girl was injured by falling debris at a basketball game on Saturday night after a reported lightning strike.

Governors in several US states declared “disaster emergencies” in dozens of counties as heavy rain continued on Sunday.

The National Weather Service says widespread flooding is affecting areas from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes area.

The Ohio River was measured at 60ft deep (18m) – its highest level for 21 years.

Further warnings are in place as more rainfall is forecast this week.