As many as 200,000 lost power across Alabama as the storm moved through, with most of the outages in the Birmingham area, Alabama Power spokeswoman Keisa Sharpe said. By early Tuesday, the number of outages was down to 187,000, she said. Power outages also were reported in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.
Chain saws and blue tarps were coming out in Georgia neighborhoods hit by suspected twisters that ripped off siding and shingles and sent trees crashing through roofs. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency said about 100 homes were damaged in Cherokee County, about 30 miles north of Atlanta.
Mickey Swims and his wife hid in the basement of their house in Woodstock, Ga., as an apparent tornado passed.
“I heard it and saw the trees go around and around,” Mr. Swims said. “I knew when I heard it that if it touched down, it was going to be bad.”
Mr. Swims owns the Dixie Speedway, where he estimated the storm caused $500,000 worth of damage. That includes about 2,000 feet of chain-link fence uprooted from its concrete base, walls blown out of a bathroom, and concession stands and tractor-trailer trucks turned into mangled messes.
Areas of Louisiana and Mississippi that bore the brunt of Lee over the weekend also were cleaning up. Lee’s center came ashore Sunday in Louisiana, dumping up to a foot of rain in parts of New Orleans and other areas. Despite some street flooding, officials said New Orleans’ 24-pump flood control system was doing its job.
Heavy rain fell in Mississippi on Monday, and a swollen creek near an apartment complex in Jackson prompted officials to move 45 families into a storm shelter. In Louisiana’s Livingston Parish, about 200 families were evacuated because of flooding.
Residents in Lee’s wake are worrying about the effects of soggy ground. Part of a levee holding back a lake in Mississippi’s Rankin County gave way, endangering some homes and a sod farm. Rankin County Road Manager George Bobo said officials could order evacuations of the few homes if the situation gets worse. The indention left by the levee slide didn’t go all the way through to the water, though.
Holbrook Mohr reported from Jackson, Miss. Associated Press writers Jay Reeves in Orange Beach, Ala., and Randall Dickerson in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.
By Rand Paul
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