Just two days after sleet and snow blanketed North Carolina, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms swept through the state, killing one person, injuring more than a dozen and teaching 227 schoolchildren the value of being prepared.
Meanwhile, floodwaters receded in Kentucky and Tennessee, where something new began falling from the sky: snow.Flurries began swirling around Nashville early Wednesday as temperatures dropped into the 20s throughout Tennessee, bringing a reprieve from the heavy rains that have plagued the region for more than a week. Most of Kentucky also got light snowfall overnight.
A clash between warm and cold air was blamed for the severe weather Tuesday in North Carolina, where a construction worker died in the collapse of a house he was building near Lillington, about 25 miles south of Raleigh. Four people were injured in that incident.
In Anson County, just north of the South Carolina border, the storm destroyed a cable television business, sent a tree crashing through the roof of a house, blew over two airplanes at an airport, ripped the tin roof off a service station and tore part of the roof off the Morven Elementary School - where pupils went through a storm drill last week.
"We had just had our tornado drill last week so that children knew exactly what to do," said Gloria Truman, the school secretary. "They were out of the classroom and in the hallway in about 15 seconds. They were perfect. You could not ask for them to be any better."
One of the 227 children, fourth-grader Shannon Short, 9, recalled the storm in vivid detail.
"It was thundering and the glass was bumping and then the top of the ceiling started shaking. That's when it started," she said. "The rain was splashing on the windows. It sounded like rocks. We had to get out because the rain was falling in on our classroom."
About 30 miles north in Moore County, several trailers overturned, injuring four people, while to the east in Richmond County, wind tore half the roof off a motel in Rockingham.
In Kentucky, crews doubled their efforts to pump flood water from Lebanon Junction, a town south of Louisville that has been inundated by the recent floods. National Guard Sgt. Ian Lamb said a second heavy-duty water pump was flown in by helicopter and lowered onto a rain-soaked levee that was too soft to support a truck.