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Ivan continues deadly march across southeast

By late Friday afternoon, Ivan's remnants had killed at least 10 people in the southern Appalachian mountains as flash floods washed away homes and businesses.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | September 17, 2004

By late Friday afternoon, Ivan's remnants had killed at least 10 people in the southern Appalachian mountains as flash floods washed away homes and businesses.

And rain will continue through Saturday morning - another 3 to 6 inches, forecasters said.

Hundreds of thousands of customers lost power across the region - already hit hard by Hurricane Frances last week - and flood warnings stretched from Georgia to Pennsylvania.

Ivan has killed 33 people in the U.S., and emergency management officials feared that heavy rain moving inland on Friday could cause death and damage tolls to rise.

In western North Carolina, heavy rain forced evacuations along rivers. Ten shelters were open in that region. In Asheville, N.C., flooding and 97-mph wind was reported in a city that was already hard-hit by Hurricane Frances.

Seven inches of rain had fallen in Georgia by Friday morning, and by Friday evening, parts of that state could see 14 inches of rain. At least 22 counties had reported flood damage by Friday morning. Damage spanned both metro Atlanta and more rural areas. In Atlanta, Peachtree Creek crested at nearly 6 feet above flood stage. The Chattahoochee River, which cuts across the metropolitan area, saw its second-highest level since the Buford Dam was built more than 40 years ago to prevent floods.

The hurricane's remnants also prompted flood warnings in 34 east and middle Tennessee counties, where forecasters predicted up to 7 inches of rain. In the eastern Tennessee town of Spring City, floodwaters blasted through the business district, breaking out storefront windows and carrying away store merchandise.

In West Virginia, the National Guard was activated in 23 counties. In Virginia, Gov. Mark Warner declared a state of emergency as heavy rain fell into that state's mountainous southwestern tip, a region extremely vulnerable to repeat flooding.

The National Geological Survey Office in Louisville issued a landslide warning for the entire state of Kentucky, which, like many other states, has already been saturated by Tropical Storm Frances.

Ivan is the deadliest hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since Hurricane Floyd killed 56 people in 1999. Ivan made landfall on the Alabama coast Thursday morning as a strong Category 3 storm with 130-mph winds.

All told, millions of people may yet be affected by Ivan. Disaster responders were continuing to gear up in many eastern states.


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