Storms spawn tornadoes in Mississippi, kill 2 in Georgia

View of broken trees and a damaged house after a tornado hit in Tupelo, Mississippi on May 2, 2021 in this image obtained from social media.

Dean Meeks | via Reuters

Much of the south is threatened with bad weather again on Tuesday, forecasters said after tornadoes hit parts of the region on Sunday evening and Monday, causing heavy damage in parts of Mississippi.

Large parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, as well as corners of Arkansas and Georgia are exposed to the worst weather conditions, according to the National Storm Forecasting Center. This area is home to over 11 million people and includes the cities of Nashville, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Jackson, Mississippi, forecasters said.

“We will see all three threats with respect to hail, wind and tornadoes on Tuesday,” said Mike Edmonston, meteorologist with the Mississippi National Weather Service.

They could include wind gusts of up to 113 km / h and golf ball-sized hail, forecasters said, noting that “tornadoes are likely Tuesday through Tuesday evening” in parts. of Mississippi.

The risk follows inclement weather that swept south on Sunday and Monday, damaging homes and uprooting trees from Mississippi to West Virginia.

Nathan Mason assesses the damage to his grandmother’s home in the aftermath of a series of tornadoes that caused several deaths in Ohatchee, Alabama on March 26, 2021.

Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters

A tornado spotted in Atlanta forced thousands to seek shelter, and a man was killed when a fallen tree brought power lines to his vehicle. The motorist was pronounced dead after fire crews cut him off from the vehicle in Douglasville, Ga., West of Atlanta, Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin told reporters. And in central Georgia, Carla Harris, 55, was killed after a tree fell on her Bonaire home, Houston County emergency officials said.

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The weather got rough for the first time in Mississippi on Sunday, where just south of Yazoo City, Vickie Savell had only leftovers from the brand new mobile home she and her husband had moved into just eight days ago. . It had been lifted off its foundations and moved about 25 feet (8 meters). It was completely destroyed.

“Oh my God, my first new home in 40 years and it’s gone,” she said Monday, amid the treetops scattered around the neighborhood and the roar of chainsaws as people worked to clear the roads. .

Savell was away from home, attending church, but her husband Nathan drove home and crouched in the front of his truck as the house next door was destroyed. From there he watched his new home walk past him, he said.

Nearby, Garry McGinty remembers being home listening to birdsong – then dead silence. He looked outside and saw a dark, ominous cloud and took refuge in a hallway, he said. He survived, but trees hit his carport, two vehicles and the side of his house.

Storms hit the northeastern Mississippi city of Tupelo on Sunday evening, damaging homes and businesses.

There have been several reports of damage to homes on Elvis Presley Drive, just down the street from the house where the famous singer was born. Presley was born in a two-room house in the Tupelo neighborhood, but there is no indication that the historic house suffered any damage. It is now a museum.

Just down the street, a tornado ripped off the roof of Terrille and Chaquilla Pulliam’s home, they told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. About ten family members took refuge inside the house and “we have everyone inside on time,” Terrille Pulliam said.

Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan said the town of Calhoun had also “been hit hard”.

“Light poles have been broken. Trees in a few houses. Trees on vehicles. Damage to several businesses. Fortunately, we have not yet had any reports of injuries,” Pollan said on Facebook.

“I don’t even recognize my neighborhood anymore,” Martha Edmond, a resident of the town of Calhoun, told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal after a tree poked a hole in her roof, causing severe water damage. Two sites of a metal fabrication company were severely damaged.

In Mississippi, forecasters confirmed 12 tornadoes Sunday night and night, including the Yazoo City twister, which stretched for 30 miles, and another tornado that moved through suburbs of Byram and Terry to the south. of Jackson which produced a 1000 meter (910 meter) wide damage track.

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, trees and power lines were cut down, a vehicle was overturned and a storage unit building was badly damaged. Several locations reported hail the size of a golf ball.

In the southern Kentucky town of Tompkinsville, a storm Monday morning later confirmed that a tornado had damaged several homes and downed trees and power lines, Fire Chief Kevin Jones said. No injuries have been reported, he said.

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In West Virginia, Jefferson County Communications Supervisor James Hayden said a person was injured when a possible tornado hit a lumber company Monday night. The injury was minor and the person was treated at the scene, he said. An outdoor lumber shed collapsed, Hayden said.

National Weather Service surveyors confirmed a tornado west of Atlanta, near where the motorist died. The twister was determined to have peak winds of 145 km / h with a trajectory of 2.4 kilometers. At least 10 houses had trees on them.

The same thunderstorm sent thousands of people to safety in more central parts of Atlanta and may have produced at least one more tornado southwest of downtown. Tornado damage has also been reported in the area around Athens.

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