Nation IN BRIEF : NATIONWIDE : Chill Rains Pound South, Parts of East

From Times staff and Wire reports

Powerful wind gusts and thunderstorms pounded the South for a second straight day, causing floods and scattered property damage. Fresh snow coated parts of the Midwest and freezing rain chilled the East. Heavy rain was accompanied by unseasonably high temperatures in the 50s and 60s across Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, spawning two tornadoes. Residents of southern Illinois woke up to a surprise snowstorm, which dumped up to 7 inches in nearby St. Louis.

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