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Carolinas Storm Cuts Power to Thousands

High winds are blamed in the deaths of three people. In Kentucky, the body of a woman killed in the weekend's flooding is recovered.

March 09, 2004|From Associated Press

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Thousands of homes and businesses in the Carolinas were without electricity Monday after a storm that was blamed for three deaths.

The storm, with wind gusts up to 70 mph, struck Sunday after a rainstorm in Kentucky earlier in the weekend caused flooding that also killed three people.

The winds blew down trees and power lines and damaged transformers Sunday. Fallen power lines were blamed for dozens of home and brush fires.

"We expected a cold front to move through, but we didn't think the wind would be this ferocious," said Jim Pharr, emergency management director in North Carolina's Gaston County.

About 95,000 customers in the state had no power Monday night, down from more than 230,000 after the storm struck, utility officials said.

In South Carolina, most of about 33,000 affected customers had their power back by late Monday .

Fayetteville, N.C., resident Melissa Clark and her family took shelter in a downstairs bathroom when the lights flickered and they heard the storm.

"We heard high winds and heard things hitting the house," Clark said.

One man was killed in Huntersville, N.C., when he was struck by a falling tree as he attempted to secure furniture on his deck, police spokeswoman Pam Barger said.

In Surry County, a motorcyclist was killed when the wind blew him into the path of an oncoming car, authorities said. Three people in the car were uninjured.

In South Carolina, rescuers Monday recovered the body of a 13-year-old boy who was in a boat that capsized Sunday night on Lake Greenwood, about 65 miles west of Columbia.

Three men from the boat survived.

Up to 3 inches of rain fell across Kentucky from Friday into Saturday, the National Weather Service reported.

In central Kentucky, the body of a woman missing since a flash flood swept her car into a creek was found Monday, seven miles from the spot where her car was caught by the rushing water, authorities said. The body of a 4-year-old girl was found Sunday in eastern Kentucky, and the body of a man was found Saturday.

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