On Monday, severe weather raged across the storm-battered South, including a potential twister in the Atlanta area, a day after several tornadoes were recorded in Mississippi. According to the Storm Prediction Center, more than 100 million people from New Mexico to Delaware were at risk of severe weather Monday afternoon and evening.
Severe weather would hit the Southeast, putting over 100 million people at risk
Forecasters warned that more strong storms would hit the Southeast on Tuesday. Much of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee were among the most at risk, as per the Prediction Center. According to AccuWeather, hail, flooding downpours, tornadoes, and devastating straight-line wind gusts of up to 75 mph will be among the storm hazards on Tuesday.
A tornado alert was released for parts of the Atlanta metro area on Monday morning, but it was lifted after the storm passed through, USA Today reported. In Douglasville, Georgia, a man was killed when power lines fell into his vehicle from a falling tree. Trees had fallen across the Atlanta area, said the firefighters.
A tornado alert was in effect for Alabama and Georgia and parts of South and North Carolina as of Monday afternoon. "Severe thunderstorms, including scattered tornadoes can occur in a swath from central Alabama through central and northern Georgia, middle and upstate South Carolina, and most of North Carolina through Monday evening," said AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Continuing strong thunderstorms and heavy rains are expected to bring destructive gusts, vast hail, a few tornadoes, and flash floods through areas of the southern Plains into the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys on Monday afternoon and evening, according to the weather service. Larger metro cities, such as Little Rock, St. Louis, Arkansas, and Indianapolis, Indiana, could be hit by these dangerous thunderstorms, as per AccuWeather.
Tornado leaves devastation after a life-threatening storm in Mississippi
Photos and videos taken late Sunday night in Tupelo, Mississippi, showed the damage caused by a "huge and highly dangerous" tornado. Residents in Sandy Springs, Itawamba County, awoke Monday to destroyed homes, fallen power poles, and trees after a tornado struck about 10:30 p.m. local time, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
The National Weather Service issued a life-threatening situation warning, and residents of Tupelo, 23 miles from where the tornado first struck, were advised to seek shelter immediately as the tornado passed through. The NWS warned on Twitter, "At 9:52 p.m. CDT, a confirmed large and destructive tornado was observed over Tupelo, moving northeast at 45 mph. TORNADO EMERGENCY for Tupelo. This is a PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION. TAKE COVER NOW."
Images posted on social media revealed houses and buildings with missing roofs due to the storm, as well as streets littered with debris. On Monday, the NWS will evaluate the damage and estimate the number of confirmed tornadoes that struck central Mississippi. A tornado warning was issued for nearly 10,000 people in the state on Sunday night. Overnight, at least 19 tornadoes were recorded throughout the state.
The city quickly set up a series of storm shelters in 11 different locations. Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan told NBC News that the tornado trapped many residents in their houses, but first responders freed them, and no injuries were reported. NWS Memphis said on Monday, "Early this morning, strong storms will begin to travel east through north Mississippi and southwest Tennessee. The main source of risk is strong winds."
Forecasters are warning people to stay alert as more severe weather is expected through Tuesday. "We'll keep an eye on the skies overnight once again as moderate to extreme storms are predicted to sweep across the forecast area late tonight and again on Tuesday," the NWS said. "Be weather alert tonight, and prepare to receive alerts in several ways."
NWS told Newsweek that it expects to finish its survey later today. It will release a preliminary report on the route, width, duration, and intensity of Sunday's storms after two of its teams investigate the destruction.
Tupelo, Mississippi, was hit hard by tornadoes that topped trees and ripped up homes and businesses. pic.twitter.com/QAW6yEEgnv— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 3, 2021