Boy, 10, fights for life after being swept into drain in storm-hit Tennessee

Dangerous storms crashed over parts of the southern US on Thursday as the region cleaned up from earlier severe weather that spawned tornadoes, killed at least three people, and gravely injured a boy who was swept into a storm drain as he played in a flooded street.

A heavy line of storms swept into Atlanta near the end of the morning rush hour. Busy hub airports in Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, reported delays.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Centre cited an “enhanced risk” for severe weather from Texas to South Carolina. An emergency manager reported “significant wind damage” from a possible tornado on Thursday afternoon in the Vidalia, Georgia, area.

The storms continue a streak of torrential rains and tornadoes this week. Since Monday, 39 states have been under threat of severe weather and at least four people in total have died.

Severe Weather Tennesee
Utility workers repair a TVA tower in Tennessee (George Walker/AP)

The weather comes on the heels of a stormy April in which the US had 300 confirmed tornadoes, the second-most on record for the month and the most since 2011.

More than 100,000 homes and businesses still lacked power on Thursday afternoon in several southern states after storms the night before, according to

One in Tennessee damaged homes, injured people, toppled power lines and trees, and killed a 22-year-old man in a car in Claiborne County, north of Knoxville, officials said. A second person was killed south of Nashville in Columbia, the seat of Maury County, where officials said a tornado with 140mph (225kph) winds damaged or destroyed more than 100 homes.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said the woman who died in Maury County was in a mobile home that was thrown several feet into a wooded area.

A 10-year-old boy was seriously injured in Christiana, southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, when he got caught in a storm drain and swept under streets while playing with other children as adults cleared debris, his father, Rutherford County Schools Superintendent Jimmy Sullivan, posted on social media.

The boy, Asher, emerged in a drainage ditch and survived after being given CPR, “but the damage is substantial”, Mr Sullivan posted on Facebook, asking for prayers.

“Asher needs a miracle,” he wrote.

A strong tornado damaged at least 20 homes in northern Alabama’s DeKalb County and caused injuries but no deaths, officials said.

In North Carolina, a state of emergency was declared Wednesday night for Gaston County, west of Charlotte, after a storm that toppled power lines and trees, including one that landed on a car. One person in the car was killed, and another was taken to a hospital, officials said.

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