Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Emergency declared amid US floods

Tuscaloosa fire lieutenant Brian Phillips climbs a pile of rubble in search of survivors or bodies at an apartment building (AP)
Tuscaloosa fire lieutenant Brian Phillips climbs a pile of rubble in search of survivors or bodies at an apartment building (AP)
Firefighters continue to search for survivors or victims in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (AP)
Rescue specialist Tracy Sargent works with her dog Chance as they climb a pile of rubble during a search for survivors in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (AP)

US President Barack Obama has declared an emergency for parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky due to widespread flooding.

The White House said the order means the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other departments can help co-ordinate all disaster relief efforts in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Kentucky governor Steve Beshear said the White House has notified him that parts of his state have also been approved for disaster status.

Over the past two weeks, heavy rains and tornadoes have hit many areas, causing rising waters especially along the Mississippi River, infrastructure damage and dangerous roads.

In Tennessee, the declaration covers Dyer, Lake, Shelby and Stewart counties.

In Mississippi, the counties of Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, DeSoto, Issaquena, Jefferson, Tunica, Warren, Washington, and Wilkinson are covered.

Mr Beshear did not confirm which counties in Kentucky are included.

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