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Dangerous thunderstorms hit South; flooding, evacuations in Alabama

A series of dangerous thunderstorms pelted the Southeast on Monday, sending rescue crews to a central Alabama mobile home park where hundreds of residents were evacuated from flood waters after a creek overran it banks, emergency officials said.

The storms spread overnight from Mississippi into Alabama and Georgia, triggering flash floods, causing power outages and shutting down roads.

Every firefighter in the Pelham Fire Department was out in the field trying to remove residents from hundreds of flooded mobile homes at Green Park South, said Robin Wilkinson, administrative assistant with the department.

Alabama Power Co., the state's largest electric utility, said 11,000 homes and businesses were without power; about 6,200 of those are in the Birmingham area.

The National Weather Service in Huntsville extended the flash-flood warning for parts of northeast Alabama through the morning. The area could see between two to four inches of rain, the agency reported, with some flooding already occurring in Fort Payne.

In Mississippi, the Emergency Management Agency said a tornado touched down in Covington County about 2 a.m., injuring seven. Rescue crews were cutting through downed trees Monday morning.

The National Weather Service issued flash-flood warnings for counties in north-central and west-central Georgia. It also expanded a flood watch into all of metro Atlanta.

[Updated 2:58 p.m. PST, April 7: In Lilburn, an Atlanta suburb, Gwinnett County firefighters recovered a car and its dead driver after it was swept away by an overflowing river.

At about 12:30 p.m. on Monday, authorities received calls of a vehicle being swallowed by the river and heading downstreat, the Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services said in a statement. The agency used an inflatable river boat to search for the car.]

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adolfo.flores@latimes.com

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