The Latest: 3rd death in Tennessee brings storm toll to 7 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

The Latest: 3rd death in Tennessee brings storm toll to 7

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HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - The latest on the severe storms moving across the U.S. and the unusually warm December weather (all times local):

9:24 a.m.: Emergency officials in Tennessee say they have confirmed a third death from severe storms that spawned tornados across the Southeast, bringing the total death toll across the region to at least seven.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said Thursday morning that a 22-year-old man died in Rhea County, about 75 miles southwest of Knoxville.

The agency says two other people - a 70-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman - were killed in Perry County, about 85 miles southwest of Nashville.

Tennessee officials say storms damaged 12 or more homes in McNairy County and destroyed a post office in Wayne County, while isolated damage was reported in 11 other counties.

7:45 a.m.: Temperatures across the South and up the East Coast were unseasonably warm as the worst of the storms passed.

In Birmingham, Alabama, the National Weather Service said the temperature rose to 73 degrees overnight, setting a record high for a low temperature for Dec. 23. The old record, 72 degrees, was set in 1970.

Temperatures were in the mid- to upper 70s along the Gulf Coast. In Barbour County, Alabama, emergency management director David Logan said it felt more like summer than Christmas Eve early Thursday.

High temperature records are tumbling across upstate New York as the early winter warmup continues across the region.

Record highs already have been recorded early on Christmas Eve in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse as temperatures top 60 degrees in each city. Albany's 58 degrees Thursday morning broke the previous record of 57 set on Dec. 24, 1941.

7:15 a.m.: The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says dozens of people are being treated for injuries after Wednesday's tornado outbreak.

Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said just before dawn Thursday that injuries are "more than 40 for sure, and some of those are quite serious." He said some of the injuries include amputations.

Flynn says initial indications are that more than 50 houses were hit.

At least six people have been killed across the country as fierce spring-like storms hit Wednesday.

6:20 a.m.: Emergency officials were checking for possible tornado damage before dawn on Christmas Eve in southeast Alabama after the National Weather Service said radar showed what appeared to be a mass of debris from a tornado.

Police say splintered trees covered a road near Clayton.

Alabama Power Co. says about 3,500 homes and businesses are without power, most in the Mobile area and southeastern Alabama, where forecasters say torrential rain was falling at a rate of 5 inches an hour. The weather service says more than 9 inches of rain fell overnight in Coffee County.

Flood watches and warnings covered parts of the state.

To the north, a weather service team was headed to Lauderdale County, Alabama's northwestern corner, to determine whether a tornado was to blame for damage that included downed trees and damaged homes.

4:00 a.m.: Residents of northern Mississippi and across the Southeast were beginning to take stock after fierce storms that killed at least six across the region whipped through.

The deadly spring-like storms killed three in Mississippi, two others in Tennessee and one in Arkansas before the worst passed Wednesday night.

Mulester Johnson says he and relatives were inside his house in Holly Springs, Mississippi, when the storm hit.

He says the wind tore the back of his house from its foundation and multiple sheds were missing afterward. Trees rested atop several trucks on his property, and slabs of brick walls were strewn throughout his yard.

Officials say a 7-year-old boy died in Holly Springs, Mississippi, when the storm picked up and tossed the car he was riding in.

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