GEORGIA STORMS
Ric Feld  /  AP
Items salvaged from a nursing center in Atlanta are loaded Monday. The center was evacuated after a tree crashed through it during a storm Sunday.
updated 6/28/2004 1:39:28 PM ET 2004-06-28T17:39:28

Thunderstorms rolling across the South caused flooding that chased dozens of people from their homes in Texas, whipped up a tornado in Louisiana and knocked out power to thousands in South Carolina.

Sunday’s violent weather was blamed for at least four deaths. One person was killed on a rain-slickened Texas highway, and lightning killed three people and injured six others in a park at Buford, Ga.

Storms also caused flooding in Colorado.

Emergency workers in San Antonio awakened residents of Mobile City Estates late Sunday and told them they had to evacuate as Leon Creek rose above its banks. Fire department officials said water rapidly rose to waist-deep in the neighborhood of 70 homes.

“We were just taking the precaution to keep people safe,” police Sgt. Michael Starnes said.

Josie Malacara, 69, said she’s lived in the community since 1975 and had never seen it flood before. “Then a fireman came to my trailer with a flashlight and said that it was mandatory for us all to evacuate,” Malacara said.

Birth of a tornadoAs the thunderstorms streamed eastward from Texas, a tornado hurled trees onto about 19 homes in Franklinton, La.

“We’re fortunate,” police Chief Lynn Armand said. “There was a lot of damage, but nobody was hurt.”

Electricity in Franklinton had been restored by Monday morning.

High wind caused power outages and destroyed a school gymnasium in central Mississippi, and about 10,000 customers lost power around Columbia, S.C., said Robin Montgomery, a spokesman for South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.

About 7,000 South Carolina customers still had no power Monday morning. Flooding displaced about 40 people from an apartment building in Columbia, police said.

To the west, more than 3 inches of rain along Colorado’s Rocky Mountain foothills flooded streets and basements and destroyed at least one house.

A 12-year-boy riding his bicycle through a creek was swept nearly a mile downstream by rushing water Sunday in Colorado Springs, said fire department Capt. Randy Royal. “He’s lucky he survived that,” Royal said.

Several other people needed to be rescued from rising water by passers-by and firefighters.

“It surprised them,” Royal said. “It was a lot of rain in a short amount of time.”

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