Storms Slam Mississippi And Alabama, Flooding Reported Illinois

(AP) — Powerful storms in Alabama and Mississippi have left at least two people dead in traffic accidents, along with a trail of damage.

One Mississippi motorist was killed in a head-on collision with a sheriff’s deputy. Another died in a single vehicle crash. Rescuers in Vernon, Alabama, freed a woman who was pinned in her car when a tree fell on it.

Authorities report damage to homes and farms along with several injuries from high winds and heavy rain. The severe weather shut down many schools on Thursday, including the University of Alabama and the University of North Alabama.

The governor of Illinois has declared disasters in two counties hit by flooding from downpours and melting snow. Emergency crews have been using boats to rescue hundreds of people forced out of their homes by water up to six feet deep.

Meanwhile, a rare tornado ripped up a residential area of Vancouver, Washington, Thursday, knocking down power lines, uprooting trees and pelting cars with flying shopping carts. There were no reports of injuries.