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Nation in brief: River dips below flood stage early

Fri., May 7, 2010, midnight

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One couple was swept away by floodwaters while driving to dinner, part of the routine they cherished in retirement. Another retired couple died on the way to church, while a third pair was found in their inundated home. After decades of marriage, the three husbands and three wives died within hours of each other as weekend storms flooded Tennessee and killed 30 in three states.

In Tennessee alone, 20 have died, with the most recent death reported on Thursday. Hardest hit was the Nashville area, home to about 1 million people, where record rains flooded hundreds of homes and forced thousands to evacuate. Many are heading back to work, and power has been restored to most areas as the floodwaters recede.

Mayor Karl Dean said Thursday that the Cumberland River has dipped below flood stage a day earlier than expected, going down to 39.5 feet. But recovery could take weeks, especially in the city’s iconic country music and tourism industry. Damages are estimated at more than $1 billion.

Another 10 people were killed in storms in Kentucky and Mississippi. Authorities are searching for at least four more people missing and feared dead in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Dozens of cows killed as rig flips

REDLANDS, Calif. – A big rig carrying scores of cattle overturned Thursday on Interstate 10 in Southern California, killing at least 40 cows and forcing the closure of lanes for several hours.

California Highway Patrol officials say the tractor-trailer flipped over onto a pickup truck, narrowly missing the driver.

Officer Hope Maxson said the truck was carrying about 160 young cows. None were on the roadway in Redlands, but many were injured.

She said crews cut off the top of the trailer to pull out the remaining live animals.

No humans were injured.


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