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Storms, high winds slam parts of South

By Susanna Capelouto, CNN
updated 12:07 PM EST, Sun January 12, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: One person dies in weather-related accident
  • Tornado watches and flood warnings issued for much of eastern U.S.
  • Firefighters rescue two children from mobile home in Georgia after tree falls
  • Wind gusts higher than those from hurricanes measured in Raleigh

(CNN) -- Gusty winds knocked down trees throughout northern Georgia and the Carolinas on Saturday as severe storms brought heavy rains, tornado watches and flood warnings.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, a man died in a weather-related car accident.

According to police, the 33-year-old motorist was driving through heavy rain when the car ran off the road, turned sideways in the wet grass and the driver's side struck a utility pole. Three other passengers in the car, including a toddler, were taken to the hospital, but had no life-threatening injuries, police say.

At Raleigh-Durham international Airport, also in North Carolina, wind gusts reached 85 mph, which was higher than the wind speed recorded at the airport during hurricanes Ivan and Fran, according to the National Weather Service.

NC storm damage

Dangerous winds move through Northern Rockies

High winds blew down part of a condo that was under construction, leaving behind a heap of plywood, according to CNN affiliate WTVD.

Thousands lost power in parts of North and South Carolina, according to Duke Energy.

In Georgia, firefighters successfully rescued a teenager from a mobile home after it was hit by a tree Saturday morning.

"The 14-year-old girl was trapped between the tree and some flooring that had already been knocked away," said Tim Cavender, a spokesman for the Cherokee County Fire Department, north of Atlanta.

He said the girl was in serious condition when she was taken to the hospital, but was alert and talking with paramedics.

A 2-year-old was rescued, suffering only minor abrasions.

Meteorologists say a cold front that pushed off to the east produced widespread showers and thunderstorms that stretched from the Gulf Coast northward into New England.

Severe thunderstorms also struck coastal areas of the Southeast.

The South wasn't the only area hit hard by storms Saturday. High wind gusts of up to 85 mph were recorded in Browning, Montana, according to the National Weather Service.

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