COLUMBUS, Miss. — Weekend storms raked parts of the Southeast, leaving deaths and injuries in their wake as a tornado smashed into a commercial district in a small Mississippi city and drenching rains fed a rising flood threat.

A woman was killed when a tornado hit Columbus, Mississippi, and a man died when he drove into floodwaters in Tennessee, officials said.

Columbus Mayor Robert Smith Sr. said 41-year-old Ashley Glynell Pounds of Tupelo and her husband were renovating a house Saturday evening, and when the husband went to get them something to eat, the building collapsed in the storm and killed her.

Smith said 12 other people were injured, but the injuries did not appear to be major. City spokesman Joe Dillon said the tornado seriously damaged a school and two community center buildings.

“There was pretty extensive damage,” Dillon said Sunday, a day after the Columbus twister struck.

“But the streets today have been filled with workers and volunteers, all working hard to clean up the mess.”

In Knox County, Tennessee, officials said a man died after his vehicle became submerged in high water.

Saturday afternoon’s tornado in Columbus was confirmed on radar, said meteorologist Anna Wolverton with the National Weather Service in Jackson. She said experts were dispatched Sunday to the east Mississippi city of about 23,000 people to gauge the tornado’s intensity. Officials said a second, smaller twister damaged a mobile home and a shed and snapped trees in a small community in the region that same afternoon.

At First Pentecostal Church in Columbus, the Rev. Steve Blaylock said the building was “a total loss,” with a wall pushed in, holes in the roof and substantial water damage. He and his congregants tried to salvage what they could on the morning after the storm. But he said they still held a Sunday prayer service and even went ahead with a scheduled baptism, using a borrowed portable baptismal pool.

“We will rebuild. We’ve got a good church here,” Blaylock said. “It’ll be a testimony of God.”

Residents of one street on the east side of Columbus were out early Sunday morning with chain saws, clearing away branches of the many trees that had snapped or were uprooted in the storm. Metal siding and roofing materials were scattered throughout the neighborhood of older homes. While the houses generally remained standing, sheds and outbuildings were mostly demolished.

Elsewhere around the South, homes, highways, parks and bridges were flooded or put out of commission amid the heavy rains and severe storms.

News outlets reported that water rescues have been performed in some Middle Tennessee counties.

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