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Girl Believed Swept Away as Floods Slam South

Rescuers scoured a Mississippi neighborhood on Monday for a 9-year-old who appeared to be swept away by flood waters the night before, while floods in Alabama stranded people in cars and homes in a turbulent morning across the American South.

The young girl disappeared in Yazoo County, north of Jackson, after she was spotted playing in the floodwater from 7 inches of rainfall at the backdoor of her home, NBC affiliate WLBT reported.

The child was last seen at 7 p.m. on Sunday night and crews searched until past midnight, police Maj. Tilmon Clifton of the Yazoo City Police Department told WLBT.

Search crews and volunteers on Monday focused on scouring drainage ditches and other areas where water remained, Clifton said. Reportedly the girl cannot swim, Clifton said.

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Half of the state was under a flood warning, flood watch or tornado warning through Monday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Seven people suffered minor injuries resulting from a tornado in Covington County, Miss., Greg Flynn, a spokesman with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, told NBC News.

At least 50 homes were damaged by the tornado, Flynn said. A shelter for displaced residents was set up at a community center in Collins, Miss.

Seven people suffered injuries resulting from a tornado in Covington County, Miss., the state emergency management agency said.

On Monday, 1,700 customers were without power in Mississippi due to the tumultuous weather, according to electric companies.

Most of Alabama was under a flash-flood warning, with parts under tornado watches, while Mobile, Ala., was put under a more severe tornado warning by the National Weather Service.

People in Jefferson County, Ala., were evacuated as their homes started taking on water, said Bob Ammons, a spokesman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. More than 200 apartments in one complex were heavily flooded, he said.

Image:
Firefighters rescue a family from their home, surrounded by floodwaters, in a mobile home park in Pelham, Ala., on April 7. Overnight storms dumped torrential rains in central Alabama, causing flooding across a wide area.Jay Reeves / AP

Rescuers in boats and military trucks worked for six hours to pluck trapped people from flooded cars, mobile homes and first-floor apartments in Pelham, Ala., said Homewood Fire Department Lieutenant Gus Murphree.

No one was injured, but more than 100 people had to be rescued, Murphree said.

In Shelby County, part of a highway was closed when the rains caused a mudslide to block the roadway, according to NBC affiliate WVTM.

Trees were uprooted by heavy winds throughout 1 square mile of Evergreen, Ala., according to Weather.com.

About 4,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity Monday afternoon, Alabama Power reported.

The western half of Georgia was under a flash flood watch as the storm pressed north, and several counties were put on tornado watch, according to the National Weather Service. Heavy rain pounded the area Monday morning, according to NBC affiliate 11 Alive.

In Augusta Ga., where the Master’s golf tournament is set to begin Thursday, a practice round was suspended due to severe weather, according to the Masters website.

Image: The 2014 Masters Tournament
Patrons exit the course after a weather warning alarm was sounded requiring the evacuation of the course during the first practice round at the 2014 Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. on April 7. The Masters Tournament is held April 10 through April 13.ERIK S. LESSER / EPA

The severe storms could spread as far north as the Carolinas, while a separate system of damaging winds, hail and tornadoes may develop from middle Tennessee to the upper Ohio Valley, according to Weather.com.

— Elisha Fieldstadt

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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