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Winds, flooding blamed for 3 deaths in South as powerful thunderstorms move through region

  • Severe-Weather-Arkansas

    Highway workers inspect the damage to Hwy. 49 in Otwell, Ark. after high winds derailed more than a dozen train cars on Thursday, June 5, 2014. Strong winds and flooding led to the deaths of at least three people in the South on Thursday as powerful thunderstorms moved through the region. (AP Photo/The Sun, Staci Vandagriff)

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  • Alabama-Severe-Weather

    A panoramic view shows a severe thunderstorm as it plows through Ingraham Rd. in the Tanner community in Limestone County south of Athens, Alabama. The storm did structural damage as well as downed trees and caused power outages as it moved through the area Thursday, June 5, 2014. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)

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  • Severe-Weather-92

    A man examines a small Cessna airplane that was flipped when strong winds struck in Jonesboro, Ark., Thursday, June 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

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  • Severe-Weather-Arkansas-1

    A crew repairs the roof of First United Methodist Church after a storm blew the roof into the street in Jonesboro, Ark. on Thursday, June 5, 2014. Strong winds and flooding led to the deaths of at least three people in the South on Thursday as powerful thunderstorms moved through the region. (AP Photo/The Sun, Staci Vandagriff)

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  • Severe-Weather-93

    A car heads east on 85th Street near Harrisburg, S.D. Thursday just ahead of a severe thunderstorm, Thursday, June 5, 2014. (AP Photo/The Argus Leader, Elisha Page)

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  • Severe-Weather-Arkansas-2

    Nicholas Guerrero, a maintenance worker for Craighead Park, cuts the limbs off a fallen tree that took out a power line on the corner of McClure and Washington in Jonesboro, Ark. on Thursday, June 5, 2014. Strong winds and flooding led to the deaths of at least three people in the South on Thursday as powerful thunderstorms moved through the region. (AP Photo/The Sun, Staci Vandagriff)

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  • Alabama-Severe-Weather-1

    Chiquita Thomas and Genevieve Rich give thanks to God for their safety after high winds from a severe thunderstorm blew apart Thomas's garage on Winfred Rd. in the Tanner community south of Athens, Ala., Thursday, June 5, 2014. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)

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  • Severe-Weather-94

    A man talks on a cell phone on a blocked street in Jonesboro, Ark., Thursday, June 5, 2014. Strong winds struck northeast Arkansas on Thursday afternoon. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

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  • Severe-Weather-Arkansas-3

    Arkansas State University students Daki Oshima and Yuji Tanaka of Japan look at the damage done in front of the Dean B. Ellis library after their morning classes were over in Jonesboro, Ark. on Thursday, June 5, 2014. Strong winds and flooding led to the deaths of at least three people in the South on Thursday as powerful thunderstorms moved through the region. (AP Photo/The Sun, Staci Vandagriff)

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Strong winds and flooding led to the deaths of at least three people in the South toay as powerful thunderstorms moved through several states.

In Arkansas, two people were killed as strong winds toppled trees. Craighead County Coroner Toby Emerson said one man died in Jonesboro when a tree fell on his home, while Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Brandon Morris said another person was killed when a tree fell on a van in in the town of Black Rock.

In southern Tennessee, a 72-year-old man died today when his vehicle was swept downstream as he apparently tried to cross a flooded roadway, according to the Highway Patrol.

WSMV-TV said a search was underway in Hickman County, Tennessee, for a 6- or 7-year-old child missing after a car became stuck in water today afternoon.

Alabama and Georgia were also in the path of the storms.

About 30,000 people were without power today in Shelby County, Tenn. There were reports of downed trees and power lines, blocking some roads.

The storms damaged numerous homes and businesses in Arkansas, and strong winds blew over a freight train on a Union Pacific line, blocking U.S. 49 in the northeast part of the state.

“Right now the issue is the cargo boxes that are causing the problem, those that have spilled out across the highway,” Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said.

He said winds also blew over about a half-dozen tractor-trailers. No serious injuries or hazardous cargo were involved in those incidents.

Further north, the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down outside Sioux Falls, South Dakota. No injuries were reported from that twister that resulted from a strong, isolated thunderstorm that dumped about an inch of rain within 20 minutes.

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