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Toddler among 6 killed in storms

ATLANTA — A 2-year-old Georgia boy swept from his father's arms Monday was among six people killed by storms pounding the Southeast, and forecasters were calling for more rain after the historic dumping that submerged major Atlanta-area highways.

The boy, Slade Crawford, was found downstream of his family's ruined mobile home, which was split apart around 2 a.m. by a surging creek, said Ed Baskin, deputy coroner in Carroll County. The parents had been rescued as their 1-year-old son clung to his mother's arms in the county southwest of Atlanta.

"By the time we got into our vehicle, they were screaming at the back of our house," said Pat Crawford, the boy's grandmother, who watched as the family's mobile home was whisked away. "We could see them, but the current was so bad, we couldn't get to them."

The storms were blamed for four other deaths in Georgia and one in Alabama. A Tennessee man also disappeared after he went swimming in an overflowing ditch on a dare.

Forecasters issued flood alerts for parts of Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky and Georgia, where the ground had been saturated by days of storms.

Authorities warned Georgia drivers to stay home as another round of storms approached from the west. Television news footage showed parts of major highways submerged in the heart of Atlanta.

To the northwest, crews in the tiny northwest Georgia town of Trion worked furiously to shore up a levee breached by the Chattooga River and in danger of failing. The town evacuated more than 1,500 residents, and Red Cross workers quickly set up an emergency shelter nearby.

"It's a grave situation for us," said Lamar Canada, Chattooga County's emergency management director.

The downpours come just months after parts of Georgia emerged from an epic drought that plagued the region for about two years.

In Tennessee, rescuers searched for a Chattanooga man swept into a culvert Sunday after boasting that he could swim across a flooded ditch alongside his house for $5. The man's nephew identified him as Sylvester Kitchens, 46.

In Kentucky, rescue crews went on more than a dozen runs to help stranded people after 4 inches of rain fell on parts of Louisville on Sunday, said Louisville fire department spokesman Sgt. Salvador Melendez.

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