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Appalachian flooding leaves 1 dead, 3 missing

Heavy rains have caused millions of dollars worth of damage in Tennessee and Kentucky.  

GREENEVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- At least three people are still missing Sunday after heavy rains flooded eastern Tennessee and Kentucky over the weekend, causing at least one death.

Five campers in Greene County were stranded Sunday but are "in good shape," according to the Greene County Emergency Management Agency director Bill Brown.

"We have had flooding, but nothing like this," Brown said. "This is traumatic. It seemed like that [storm] cell that was moving moved over the eastern part of county and wouldn't move."

Greene County emergency workers recovered two people who were missing Saturday, stranded on their rooftop.

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"They were on the rooftop, but the house was gone," Brown said. "I don't know how they survived."

Heavy rains moved into eastern Tennessee overnight Friday and continued to soak the area on Saturday. Brown said some areas received 6-9 inches of rain and other areas, near flooded creeks and rivers, were completely washed out. He estimated at least 70 roads were damaged and 15 bridges were washed out. He said it was too early to tell how many homes were affected.

Rescue efforts on the ground were nearly impossible in some areas. One rescue boat capsized, dumping two rescue workers into the floodwater. Neither was injured.

"A lot of places we couldn't use our boats," Brown said. "So one place...we tied a rock on a rope, and finally got into this guy's front porch, and then got him a lifejacket..... and tied a rope around it and got him out that way."

Emergency officials must battle rushing waters, as well as massive puddles.  

Just over the border in eastern Kentucky, authorities are searching for a woman missing near Robinson Creek. Sgt. Lynn Cross of the Kentucky State Police said the woman and a friend were driving through a flooded area Saturday when their car stalled. Both women got out and one was swept away by the current.

One man died after he was swept away in his car near Hurricane Creek in northern Pike County Friday night, Cross said. He was trying to recover a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle that his friends had driven into a flooded area. His friends were not hurt.

Some homes in the region had flooded basements, said Terri Osborne of the Pike County Emergency Management Office, and some trees were down.

Cross said about five inches of rain fell Friday night on already-soaked ground, swelling creeks over their banks. He said most of the roads that were closed in the area had reopened by Saturday afternoon and much of the water has receded back into the creeks.

"We're in a mountainous area, you get two or three inches of rain, you get flooding," Cross said.

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