Dangerous weather blamed for at least two deaths in Kansas and Louisiana

A massive post-Christmas storm has millions in the Midwest and Southwest digging out, while parts of the rain-drenched South are mopping up from floods. 

The dangerous weather is blamed for at least two deaths in Kansas and Louisiana. 

Across the storm-lashed South, it was water, water everywhere. Up to a foot of rain fell in parts of Mississippi and Louisiana. In Norco, Louisiana, flooded streets forced detours. One eighteen-wheeler flipped over trying to turn around. 

In New Orleans, St. Charles Parish, many residents woke up to a watery misery. 

"I heard the alarm that went off, thank God," said Darren Vinnett, a St. Charles Parish resident. "And then when I did wake up I stepped into puddles of water." 

The wintry mix has been marching across the West and Upper Plains all week. It dumped snow up North, flipping a tank truck on icy roads, and drenched the South. One of the hardest hit areas was Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and nearby Greene County.

"It's wet. It's muddy. It's bad," said pastor Devin McIlwain. 

Four feet of water flooded his Baptist church. "The smaller pews that aren't bolted down floated in," he said. "Tables are turned over. Chairs turned over."

Severe Weather South
In this photo provided by the Hattiesburg Police Department, drivers attempt to drive through flash flood waters in Hattiesburg, Miss., Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018.  (Ryan Moore/Hattiesburg Police Department via AP

Fulton, Alabama, saw the same type of high water drama: trapped people.

The Atlanta Fire Department tweeted this warning to motorists: "Turn Around, Don't Drown." Even one of the fire stations was flooded.
Water surged over streets and into passing traffic near cresting Peachtree Creek.

"This was all grass, all lawn. There's a barbecue pit out there somewhere," said Chuck Sweet, who was house-sitting for his son and saw the backyard disappear. 

"It was going straight through here taking everything with it," he said.  

  • Mark Strassmann
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.