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Harvey spreads its misery into Deep South

Houston assesses damage

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Harvey spread its misery into the Deep South as flooded creeks drove people from their homes in Tennessee and an apparent tornado damaged homes and toppled trees in a rural area of northwest Alabama.

More than 50 people were evacuated from a Nashville neighborhood due to flooding from Harvey, but no deaths or injuries have been reported, according to a statement Friday morning from the Nashville Office of Emergency Management.

The agency said remnants from Harvey dumped nearly 9 inches of rain in some areas over a 24-hour period and crews responded to dozens of calls overnight requesting aid. About 40 people took refuge in a Red Cross shelter set up at a church.

Richard Williams said he and his wife were rescued from their home south of Nashville overnight. He told CBS affiliate WTVF-TV that his wife had to be rescued from her hospice bed by raft.

"When I woke up, the water was up to my waist and up to my wife's hospital bed," Williams said.

By Friday morning, most watersheds in the Nashville area were returning to normal levels, emergency officials said.

Near Monteagle, northeast of Chattanooga in south-central Tennessee, Interstate 24 was shut down in both directions Friday after high winds knocked down powerlines across the highway. Traffic was backed up for miles.

The rains also caused flooding in low-lying streets in Memphis, as the western Tennessee city reported power outages late Thursday and rivers in the area swelled. Though still a tropical depression, Harvey also began to shed its tropical characteristics overnight as its rainbands extended farther across Tennessee and Kentucky on its forecast path toward the Ohio Valley.

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At 4 a.m. CDT Friday, Harvey's core was located about 40 miles southwest of Nashville, the National Hurricane Center reported. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 30 mph and was moving northeast at 16 mph. Forecasters said the storm likely would dissipate Saturday evening around Ohio.

Meanwhile, flood warnings remained in effect near rivers in western and middle Tennessee. Flash flood warnings also were in place for parts of Kentucky. Those came as the storm slogged deeper into the nation's interior after its catastrophic drenching of parts of Texas and Louisiana, where severe flooding was continuing.

Harvey has been blamed for at least 37 deaths in Texas, CBS News confirms.

In Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner says it's time for him to turn his attention to recovery, to helping the thousands displaced by Hurricane Harvey and assessing how the city will deal with the catastrophic damage in its wake.

"The city certainly does need more assets, high water vehicles, high water trucks, high water boats, first responders need more equipment," Turner told CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann. "And in a storm like this, when some of your roads are cut off and your airports may not be functioning at that point in time, it makes it much more difficult to get to people as soon as you would like to."

In east Texas, residents are desperate to leave the flood zone and helicopters are still pulling people out of floodwaters. The city of Beaumont has been without running water for 24 hours. Evacuees lined up at Beaumont's airport Thursday, boarding planes and buses headed out of town. Many didn't care where they were going, CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reports. 

There are roughly 12,000 people in shelters, many of whom will need help long-term.

In northwest Alabama, high winds damaged several homes near the city of Reform and minor injuries were reported, news outlets said. Jason Holmes, a meteorologist with The National Weather Service in Birmingham, said Thursday that a tornado was the likely cause of the damage.

Photographs published online by the Tuscaloosa News in Alabama showed huge trees splintered and toppled, houses with their shingles torn away and one mobile home so shattered it was barely recognizable. Men with chainsaws went out after the storm had passed to clear downed trees from roads.

Authorities said Harvey's remnants contributed to the death of a motorist in a head-on crash with a tractor-trailer Thursday on Interstate 40 in Memphis. The motorist's name was not immediately released.

In western Tennessee, flood warnings were in effect along or near several rivers, including two leading tributaries of the Mississippi River. Forecasters said some spots in Tennessee got nearly 10 inches of rain, though most areas received between 2 inches and 8 inches.

About 4 inches of rain fell in Memphis during a 12-hour period ending at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service said.