May 2, 2010 in Nation/World

In brief: Rains inundate Tennessee; 5 dead

From Wire Reports
 
Associated Press photo

A vehicle sits in a sinkhole on West Forest Avenue during heavy storms just west of Madison County General Hospital on Saturday in Jackson, Tenn.
(Full-size photo)

Memphis, Tenn. – At least five people died and hundreds were being evacuated Saturday as heavy rains pounded Tennessee, causing widespread flooding across the state.

The forecast called for more rain today.

The five deaths were storm related, but the exact causes were not yet known, Jeremy Heidt, spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, said Saturday evening.

Hundreds of homes had been evacuated and shelters were being opened across the state for people stranded due to flooded roads. Heidt said crews were called out for swift-water rescues from Nashville to Memphis.

The southwestern part of the state was extremely hard hit, with several Memphis-area streets declared impassable. Memphis received 10 inches or more of rain during the day and officials were warning that 4 to 8 more inches could fall overnight and into today.

Search for gunmen yields arrests

Phoenix – Authorities searching for drug smugglers who shot and wounded an Arizona sheriff’s deputy in the desert south of Phoenix said they captured 17 suspected illegal immigrants Saturday, including three who may have been involved in the incident.

The three who matched descriptions given by the Pinal County sheriff’s deputy who was grazed by a bullet fired by a group of about five smugglers were questioned but were not believed to have been the actual shooters, sheriff’s Lt. Tamatha Villar said.

The deputy was released from the hospital several hours after the Friday afternoon incident.

Several hundred officers from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, assisted by several helicopters, scoured a 10-square-mile area of rugged desert about 50 miles south of Phoenix on Saturday. The search was called off as darkness fell.


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