|Flattened: Damian Barnes’ mobile home in Mississippi was thrown 20 feet and destroyed
during a tornado that struck the area on Monday
An EF2-rated tornado – with wind speeds of between 111 and 135mph – struck Damian Barnes’ home near Collins, Covington County, in the early hours of Monday morning.
The tornado completely destroyed it and Barnes, despite being injured, managed to pull his girlfriend and two children from the wreckage.
Several other homes in the area were destroyed by the tornado and seven minor injuries reported.
The tornado struck on a night of severe weather across the U.S southeast.
Tragically, a nine-year-old girl was swept away and killed in Mississippi after the storms dropped nearly seven inches (18 centimeters) of rain there over the past two days.
Thunderstorms in central Alabama caused flash flooding and crews in small boats and military trucks had to rescue dozens of people from their homes and cars.
In Georgia a motorist in metro Atlanta was found dead after driving into a creek swollen with rainwater.
|Devastating destruction: Eisenhower Duckworth picks his way through the debris at his house on
Lookout Hill Lane in Covington County near Collins, Mississippi, after the tornado struck.
|The tornado struck Covington County in Mississippi on a night of severe weather across the U.S southeast.|
|Aftermath: An abandoned vehicle sits submerged by floodwaters on a road in a
mobile home park in Pelham, Alabama, on Monday.
|Extreme weather: Firefighters rescue a family from their house, surrounded by floodwaters,
in a mobile home park in Pelham, Alabama.
Strong winds downed trees, power lines and snarled rush hour commutes. National Weather Service forecasters in North Carolina say video indicates a tornado touched down near the town of Belhaven in the eastern part of the state. Authorities say a pickup truck was lifted off the highway, injuring a man and his son.
In Pelham, just south of Birmingham, more than four inches (10 centimeters) of rain fell from 7 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday. Police and firefighters rescued people who became trapped in flooded townhomes and a mobile home park.
Dozens of cars had water up to their roofs. Rescue workers wearing life jackets waded through muddy water nearly to their chests to reach stranded residents. Hundreds of people in mobile homes on higher ground were isolated because water covered the only entrance to the complex.
Pelham Fire Battalion Chief Mike Knight said people realized at daybreak that the water, seven feet (2.1 meters) deep in some places, was surrounding their homes. Some people had to abandon cars after driving into areas where the flood water was deeper than expected.
A development of townhomes along a creek in Pelham also flooded, with some units getting four to five feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) of water. Some residents went to their second floors to wait for the water to recede, while others evacuated.
WATCH: Tornado leaves damage outside Collins.
Shannon Martin said she had water up to the top of her toilet bowl in her first floor. She and a friend waded through flooded streets to get inside and floated out some of her belongings in a cooler.
Martin, a renter, said she had insurance to cover her belongings, but doesn’t know where she will live. ‘I just moved here,’ she said.
At an apartment complex in the suburb of Homewood, rescue crews used a boat to help several residents and pets get out of flooded first-floor units. Mudslides toppled trees and blocked several roads.
Some roads in Birmingham became impassable due to flood waters and fallen trees, and schools delayed opening in many areas of central Alabama due to the heavy rains.
At one point, Birmingham-based Alabama Power Co. reported 11,000 homes and businesses without electricity. That was cut to about 4,500 Monday afternoon.
In Augusta, Georgia, where the Master’s golf tournament is being held this week, practice round play was halted Monday two hours after it began. It was the first time in 11 years that weather washed out a Monday practice round. – Daily Mail.