Lightning blamed for house fire near Charleston

(File)

(AP) — At least five people have died as storms moved across the South.

The Latest on severe storms in parts of the South (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

Fire officials near Charleston, South Carolina, say lightning caused a house fire as a line of thunderstorms moved across the state.

Officials with the St. Johns Fire Department say they were called shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday. No one was hurt in the fire. Two people in the home got out safely.

The fire was extinguished in about half an hour.

A severe thunderstorm warning was in effect for the Charleston area at the time.

At least five people have died as storms moved across the South.

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8:20 a.m.

Forecasters are trying to determine whether a tornado caused four of five deaths as storms left a path of destruction across the Southeast.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Wool of Tallahassee, Florida, says teams are headed out Tuesday to assess apparent tornado damage at three sites in southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia.

Wool says authorities believe a tornado is responsible for damage that left four people dead in Rehobeth, Alabama. But Wool says the weather service won’t be able to say that for sure until experts visit the site.

Wool says teams also will look at possible tornado damage around the cities of Bainbridge and Albany in southwestern Georgia. Wool says the same twister may have caused damage in Alabama and Georgia.

A Florida man died in flooding in the Florida Panhandle.

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7:45 a.m.

Storms moving across the South have claimed a fifth life, this one in the flooded Florida Panhandle.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that 70-year-old William Patrick Corley’s body was found Monday afternoon following flooding near the Shoal River in Mossy Head.

Authorities said Corley’s car was partially submerged and his body was floating face-down nearby.

The sheriff’s office said Corley’s death remained under investigation, but no foul play was suspected.

The sheriff’s office urged residents to monitor flood warnings and try to ensure that “loved ones in these areas are safe when leaving their homes.”

Four people were killed Monday evening in southern Alabama when a tree fell on their mobile home.

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1:20 a.m.

Parts of the South are bracing for more rain Tuesday, a day after severe storms killed four people in Alabama.

A spokeswoman for the Dothan Houston County Emergency Management Agency says the four died Monday evening when a tree fell on their mobile home in Rehobeth, Alabama.

Parts of southwest Alabama and southern Mississippi have received more than 8 inches of rain since Saturday.

Marksville, Louisiana, Fire Chief Jerry Bordelon says the storm tossed a fireworks stand more than 30 yards through the air and also knocked over some 18-wheelers.

In Georgia, forecasters say parts of the state could see as much as 3 inches of total rainfall from the storm system moving across the region.

Tens of thousands of people in Louisiana and Mississippi lost power at the height of the storm, according to utilities.

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