On Monday, severe storms causing several tornadoes moved south, damaging homes and uprooting trees from Mississippi to West Virginia. AP Photo
YAZOO CITY: Severe storms, spawning several tornadoes, swept south on Monday, damaging homes and uprooting trees from Mississippi to West Virginia. A tornado spotted in Atlanta forced thousands of people 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, Georgia, 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.
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 house 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.
A line of severe storms hit the state on Sunday afternoon and into the night. Late Sunday, a “tornado emergency” was declared for Tupelo and the surrounding area.
Photos retweeted by the National Meteorological Service in Memphis showed several downed trees and power lines. Tupelo middle school suffered damage, as well as 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,” said Terrille Pulliam.
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 had any reports of injuries at this time,” Pollan said on Facebook.
“I don’t even recognize my neighborhood anymore,” Martha Edmond 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.
Media also reported tornadoes near Yazoo City, Byram and Tchula earlier on Sunday.
As the system moved east, storms damaged homes in a Kentucky town early Monday and a business in West Virginia, and tornado watch for much of the day covered large parts of Alabama and Georgia.
In Caroline from the south, 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, while tents were thrown over cars at a car dealership. Several locations reported hail the size of a golf ball.
In the southern Kentucky town of Tompkinsville, a severe storm Monday morning damaged several homes and knocked over trees and power lines, Fire Chief Kevin Jones said. No injuries have been reported, he said.
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 path of 2.4 kilometers. At least 10 houses 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. Firefighters have responded to several calls for downed trees, Atlanta Fire Rescue said in a statement. No significant injuries were reported, although more than 20,000 Georgia residents lost power at one point. Tornado damage has also been reported in the area around Athens.
Other storms are in store for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia on Tuesday, forecasters said. Tuesday’s storms could bring wind gusts of up to 113 km / h and hail the size of a golf ball, forecasters said, noting that “tornadoes are likely Tuesday through Tuesday evening” in some. parts of Mississippi.