Massive storms, tornadoes, and floods have ripped apart portions of the Southeastern U.S. On Wednesday, April 28, 2011, portions of Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee were subjected to severe storms and strings of tornadoes which caused at least 178 deaths, massive power outages, and the shut down of nuclear reactors at Browns Ferry, the Tennessee Valley Authority owned nuclear plant located in Alabama. Additionally, record amounts of rainfall caused officials to open all but one of nine dams along the Tennessee River in an attempt to control flooding. Since Tuesday, four to seven inches of rainfall caused streams and riverbeds to swell and overflow.
Officials from TVA expect it could take days, if not weeks, to restore power within the hardest hit areas of Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee, and Kentucky. Diesel generators within the Browns Ferry have been running since Wednesday when storms damaged transmission lines and interrupted outside power to the plant.
Governors within Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee declared a state of emergency for each state following the storms. Rescue workers, government crews, and others quickly responded to rescue and assist those affected by the storms. Experts from the National Weather Service expect that the series of storms and tornadoes could break records for the month of April, with reports of at least 164 tornadoes touching down during Wednesday's storms.