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Body of girl in Mississippi believed swept away by flooding found as rain batters Southeast

By Jason Hanna, CNN
updated 9:01 PM EDT, Mon April 7, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The body of the 9-year-old girl has been recovered, an official says
  • A woman dies after her car is swept away in Georgia
  • More than 70 homes are damaged and seven people injured in Mississippi
  • Rain pounds U.S. Southeast; flash flood warnings and watches issued

(CNN) -- The body of a 9-year-old girl believed to have been swept into a culvert during a flash flood in west-central Mississippi was recovered Monday, an official told CNN.

Yazoo County Emergency Management Director Joey Ward said the girl's body was identified by her mother.

The girl's death came as rain pounded parts of the U.S. Southeast -- storms that flooded areas in Mississippi overnight and threatened more of the same in parts of Alabama, Georgia and Florida on Monday.

The girl's mother reported that floodwater had pulled the girl into a channel under a road around 8 p.m. CT Sunday in Yazoo City, which received 4 to 5 inches of rain in a short period, Ward said.

Rescuers searched the area and several other rain-swollen drainage ditches, CNN affiliate WJTV reported. A 20-person search-and-rescue team from central Mississippi assisted.

Elsewhere, a woman's body was recovered Monday in Georgia after her car was swept away in a rain-swollen creek in Gwinnett County, Lt. Colin Rhoden of the Gwinnett County Fire Department told CNN.

Her identity has not been released.

Flash flood watches or warnings were in effect Monday morning for parts of southeastern Mississippi, much of Alabama, a large portion of Georgia and the northwestern Florida panhandle.

In North Carolina, a tornado touched down in the eastern part of the state, Chief Fred Clingenpeel of the Belhaven Police Department told CNN.

He said the tornado struck a very rural area between the towns of Belhaven and Pantego, North Carolina. There were no reports of any deaths. There are possible injuries, but nothing severe at this time, Clingenpeel said.

He added that houses were damaged and trees snapped when the tornado hit around 4:30 p.m. ET on Monday.

Another tornado touched down in Covington County in south-central Mississippi around 2 a.m. Monday, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said. Seven people had minor injuries, and more than 60 homes were damaged as a result of the storm in that county, the agency said.

Throughout the state, the agency said it had received reports of damage to more than 70 homes.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency warned that forecasters are saying strong storms are possible again Tuesday, with the main threats being hail, heavy rain and winds of up to 50 mph.

CNN's Suzanne Presto, Kevin Conlon and John Branch contributed to this report.

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