Tornado threat ramps up from Florida to Virginia after storms turn deadly in Deep South
A string of violent storms that spawned possible tornadoes on Friday capped a wild week of weather across the southern and eastern U.S. The dangerous storms will continue spreading up the East Coast into Friday night.
The storms turned deadly on Thursday afternoon after a tree fell onto a vehicle in Neshoba County, Mississippi, leaving one person dead, according to the Neshoba Democrat.
Two more deaths occurred as the night wore on - one in Alabama and another in Mississippi.
In Mississippi, Amite County Coroner Campbell Sharp told local news station WLBT that 24-year-old Kenderick Magee was killed while driving in the severe weather. Magee's car crashed on Bean Road in the Gillsburg Community. He died as a result of his injuries.
A 42-year-old woman was killed Thursday night in St. Clair County, Alabama. Monica Clements died when a when a tree fell on her home, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office told local news station WRBC. According to officials, Clements’ 10-year-old son was also home at the time of the incident. He sustained minor injuries.
Widespread power outages spread through Florida and Georgia on Friday as the storm moved over the region. Over 100,000 people are without power across Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Texas as of Friday morning, according to PowerOutage.us.
Some schools and businesses remain closed on Friday after closing for severe weather earlier this week. Early dismissals are likely in Florida and Georgia as the storm pounds the region.
Damaging winds, flash flooding and tornadoes will continue to be a threat in any storms that fire on Friday. Even after the worst of the storms pass, lingering downpours can spark additional rounds of flooding.
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Travel will continue to be disrupted as storms interfere with rush hour in several major cities. When storms impact Atlanta on Friday, airline delays and cancellations can have ripple effects for travelers across the nation.
Flash flood, severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings clashed in regions of Mississippi and Louisiana Thursday afternoon as a line of vigorous thunderstorms swept through the region. One tornado just missed striking Jackson, Mississippi, but instead passed through the nearby town of Clinton. Cars lay strewn across a Walmart parking lot, knocked over onto their sides while rain continued to fall.
In Utica, Mississippi, authorities reported a Hinds County school bus trapped by two trees on the road. Officials confirm that the driver and children are okay. According to officials, homes have been destroyed in Morton, Mississippi, after severe storms and a potential tornado moved through the area.
Storms ravaged Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle before moving into western Georgia on Thursday night. Having seen the destruction that played out in the Mississippi Valley over the past few days, many school districts in central Georgia canceled class for Friday as part of storm preparation tactics.
The multi-day outbreak began on Wednesday afternoon when powerful thunderstorms developed from the Texas Panhandle to central Iowa. One tornado was confirmed near Higgins, Texas, Wednesday evening. Two EF0 tornadoes also struck Missouri, one near Greenfield and another near Meinert.
A rare phenomenon occurred on Wednesday as twin tornadoes – two tornadoes appearing near each other at the same time – touched down 4 miles west-northwest of Shattuck, Oklahoma.
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Additional reporting by Ashley Williams, Brian Lada, Faith Eherts and Reed Timmer.