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Four Die in Tenn. Flash Flooding

July 14, 1998

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. (AP) _ Heavy rains sent streams over their banks, washing away bridges, cars and houses and killing at least four people. Twenty-five were injured and several others were missing.

Eight inches of rain fell in Lawrence County in the past two days, much of it Monday evening. A flash flood watch remained in effect this morning for 14 counties, including Lawrence.

``We had about 4 inches of rain fall in an hour about dusk last night and that’s what really caught them off guard,″ said Cecil Whaley of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. ``When something like that hits, it’s almost as bad as a tornado. There’s no time to prepare.″

The deaths occurred in separate incidents in Lawrenceburg, which is about 70 miles south of Nashville, near the Alabama state line, Whaley said. He had no details on the incidents.

Much of the county is rural and searchers have been unable to look for other victims.

``We expect daylight is going to bring some trouble,″ Whaley said.

At least five bridges received considerable damage and may have to be replaced, Whaley said. Phone and electric service were knocked out to many in Lawrence County, which has about 10,500 residents.

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