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Record Rainfall, Tornadoes, Storms Ravage the South

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Spring in the South is a beautiful time! There's really nothing prettier than all of the trees turning, the flowers blooming and the birds chirping. But over the last few days, folks down in our neck of the woods have been having a hell of a time. If you've missed the national news, the country has been under fire from Mother Nature...and it sure ain't pretty.

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My home town is Qulin, Missouri which is about 13 miles south of Poplar Bluff. The two towns are separated by the Black River. The river couldn't hold the record amounts of rainfall the area has received over the last week and to say it mildly, Southeast Missouri is soggy! The overflowing river has covered vital transportation routes, shutting down schools and closing businesses. More than 1,000 residents have been evacuated! My parents don't live close to the river but have had trouble getting to Poplar Bluff for work after the roadways were closed for flooding.

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Butler County, Missouri


Just up the road from Poplar Bluff is the Wappapello Lake. Water toppled over the spillway this week once the water crested at 400 feet. This is what it looks like now...


It's weird how Mother Nature's fury can take course...seems like everywhere we've lived in the last fews years has gotten hit.

Just miles from our home in Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Smithville was literally wiped off the map by a EF5 tornado. When it comes to tornadoes, this is as bad as it gets folks! With winds recorded at more than 205 mph, the first EF5 tornado in the world since 2008 killed 15 people and injured 40.

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Smithville, MS


Tornadoes and flooding have also ravaged the Jonesboro, Arkansas area, where Brett and I met while working at KAIT. The entire Region 8 viewing area has been under multiple warnings and watches while waiting for the sun to shine again. Jonesboro just received the dubious honor of being ranked #2 by the New York Times as highest risk of natural disaster!

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I-40 bridge going into Arkansas


It's tough being away from our friends and family and watching events unfold on Facebook and Twitter. We're hoping everyone comes out OK through all this mess! Please keep the South in your thoughts and prayers!


Image credits: Facebook, Youtube

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Heather Flanigan

When Heather Flanigan and her husband Brett Garrett packed their bags and moved 1500 miles from Tupelo, Mississippi to upstate New York, they really had no idea what they were in for!  The newlyweds met in an Arkansas television newsroom before deciding to check out things on this side of the Mason-Dixon line.  Since then, they've cashed in their Southern hoe cakes for some Yankee cannoli.  Now  in a land far, far away from their friends and family, these two are navigating the waters of new opportunities, bracing for winter and still trying to figure out the Yankee version of BBQ.

Albany.com's I Heart NY Y'all is written by Emmy winning former news reporter Heather Flanigan and is based off of her personal blog.  If you've got any survival tips for these Southerners, pass 'em on to

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