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Storms spawn twisters in Mississippi, kill 2 in Georgia

By The Associated Press
Posted 8:54AM on Tuesday 4th May 2021 ( 4 days ago )

YAZOO CITY, Miss. (AP) — Much of the South is at risk of more severe weather Tuesday, forecasters said, after tornadoes struck parts of the region Sunday night and Monday, causing heavy damage in some parts of Mississippi and flipping trucks in Texas.

Parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, as well as corners of Arkansas and Georgia are at enhanced risk for the worst weather, according to the national Storm Prediction Center. That zone is home to more than 11 million people and includes the cities of Nashville, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Jackson, Mississippi, forecasters said.

“We’ll see all three threats as far as hail, wind and tornadoes on Tuesday,” said Mike Edmonston, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Mississippi.

Hail and high winds were buffeting north Texas, where just before midnight on Monday, powerful winds from a likely tornado flipped three semi-trailers over on Interstate 35 in the driving rain, authorities said. Three people were taken to hospitals but their conditions weren’t immediately known, Dallas TV station WFAA reported.

Tuesday's storms could include wind gusts of up to 70 mph (113 kph) and hail to the size of golf balls, forecasters said, noting that “tornadoes are likely Tuesday into Tuesday evening” in parts of Mississippi. A couple of tornado warnings were issued Tuesday morning in rural areas east of Nashville, Tennessee.

The risk follows heavy weather that moved across the South on Sunday and Monday, damaging homes and uprooting trees from Mississippi to West Virginia.

A tornado warning in Atlanta forced thousands to seek shelter, and one man was killed when a falling tree brought power lines onto his vehicle in Douglasville, Georgia, west of Atlanta, Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin said. And in middle Georgia, 55-year-old Carla Harris was killed after a tree fell onto her Bonaire home, Houston County emergency officials said.

More than 100,000 people were without electricity early Tuesday in states from Texas to Kentucky, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility outages.

The weather first turned rough in Mississippi on Sunday, where just south of Yazoo City, Vickie Savell was left with only scraps of the brand-new mobile home where she and her husband had moved in just eight days ago. It had been lifted off its foundation and moved about 25 feet (8 meters). It was completely destroyed.

“Oh my God, my first new house in 40 years and it's gone," she said Monday, amid tree tops strewn about the neighborhood and the roar of chainsaws as people worked to clear roads.

In Mississippi, forecasters confirmed 12 tornadoes Sunday evening and night, including the Yazoo City twister, which stretched for 30 miles (48 kilometers), and another tornado that moved through suburbs of Byram and Terry south of Jackson that produced a damage track 1,000 yards (910 meters) wide.

In South Carolina, at least one tornado was reported Monday afternoon in Abbeville County. The tornado appeared to be on the ground for several miles, according to warnings from the National Weather Service. No injuries were immediately reported. In Greenwood, downed trees and power lines were reported, while a vehicle was blown over and a storage unit building was heavily damaged. Multiple locations reported golf ball-sized hail.

In the southern Kentucky town of Tompkinsville, a Monday morning storm later confirmed as a tornado damaged several homes and knocked down trees and power lines, Fire Chief Kevin Jones said. No injuries were reported, he said.

In West Virginia, Jefferson County communications supervisor James Hayden said one person was injured when a possible tornado touched down at a lumber company Monday evening. The injury was minor, and the person was treated at the scene, he said. An exterior lumber shed collapsed, Hayden said.

National Weather Service surveyors confirmed one tornado west of Atlanta near where the motorist died. The twister was determined to have peak winds of 90 mph (145 kph) with a path that ran 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers). At least 10 homes had trees on them.

The same thunderstorm sent thousands of people to shelter in more central parts of Atlanta and may have produced at least one more tornado southwest of downtown. Possible tornado damage was also reported in the region around Athens.

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Associated Press writers Jeff Martin in Marietta, Georgia; Jeff Amy in Atlanta; Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas; Becky Yonker in Simpsonville, Kentucky; and Julie Walker in New York City contributed to this report.

Vickie Savell looks at the remains of her new mobile home early Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yazoo County, Miss. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
The remains of a mobile home are shown early Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yazoo County, Miss. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Neighbors Alfred Lee and Grace Bazzy hug in front of another neighbor's damaged home along Elvis Presley Drive in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, May 3, 2021. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
A downed tree and damaged homes are seen along Elvis Presley Drive in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, May 3, 2021. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Alfred Lee covers a damaged spot on the roof of his home on Elvis Presley Drive in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, May 3, 2021. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries.(AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Damaged homes and vehicles are seen along Elvis Presley Drive in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, May 3, 2021. A line of severe storms rolled through the state Sunday afternoon and into the nighttime hours. Late Sunday, a “tornado emergency” was declared for Tupelo and surrounding areas. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Downed trees cover Oakview Drive in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, May 3, 2021. A line of severe storms rolled through the state Sunday afternoon and into the nighttime hours. Late Sunday, a “tornado emergency” was declared for Tupelo and surrounding areas. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
A Tupelo Water and Light crew works to clear downed trees and power lines along Oakview Drive in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, May 3, 2021. A line of severe storms rolled through the state Sunday afternoon and into the nighttime hours. Late Sunday, a “tornado emergency” was declared for Tupelo and surrounding areas. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Vickie Savell gestures whole looking at the remains of her new mobile home early Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yazoo County, Miss. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Vickie Savell looks at the remains of her new mobile home early Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yazoo County, Miss. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Vickie Savell looks through her belongings amid the remains of her new mobile home early Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yazoo County, Miss. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Vickie Savell, right, looks for her wedding band, as a friend and fellow church member pulls possessions from the remains of her new mobile home early Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yazoo County, Miss. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
The wreckage of a truck is shown Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yazoo County, Miss. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
A neighbor hugs Vickie Savell next to the remains of her new mobile home early Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yazoo County, Miss. Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, causing some damage but no immediate word of injuries. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Derrick Pounds and his daughter, Madison, 6, clean up debris around their residence on Elvis Presley Drive in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, May 3, 2021. Multiple tornadoes were reported across the state on Sunday. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Derrick Pounds Jr. helps his father clean up debris around their house on Elvis Presley Drive in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, May 3, 2021. Multiple tornadoes were reported across the state on Sunday. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Utility linemen work on repairing power and communication lines in Yazoo County, Miss., Monday, May 3, 2021, following Sunday's tornado that destroyed a number of homes and small businesses. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Myesha Gore of Calhoun City, Miss., sits on the trunk of a shattered pine tree Monday, May 3, 2021, as the rest of the tree crushed her car behind her while she was visiting her mother in Vardaman during Sunday's severe weather. (Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)
A Tupelo resident walks by a home on North Green Street on Monday, May 3, 2021 that had a tree fall and it roots tear out the decking and stairway to the home after a tornado passed through the city Sunday night. (Adam Robison/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)

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