YAZOO CITY, Mississippi (AP) – Severe storms causing several tornadoes swept south Monday, damaging homes and uprooting trees from Mississippi to Kentucky. 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. No further details were immediately disclosed.
The weather got rough for the first time in Mississippi on Sunday, where just south of Yazoo City, Vickie Savell had nothing but remnants of 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 (7.6 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 birds chirping – 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. Meteorologists urged residents to take cover.
“Damage has been reported in the city of Tupelo,” the mayor’s office said in a Facebook post just before 11pm. “Emergency teams are currently assessing the degree of damage. Please don’t go out and drive. “
Pictures retweeted by the National Weather Service in Memphis showed several downed trees and power lines. Tupelo middle school suffered damage, as well as houses 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.
But just down the street on Elvis Presley Drive, 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 was also “hit hard tonight.”
“The lighting poles were broken. Trees in a few houses. Trees on vehicles. Damage to several businesses. Fortunately, we have not yet had any reports of injuries, ”Pollan posted on Facebook, asking people to stay off the roads. “Emergency personnel are working feverishly to open the roads as quickly as possible.”
The media also reported tornadoes near Yazoo City, Byram and Tchula earlier today. The National Weather Service in Jackson sharing several images of funnel clouds across different parts of the state.
As the system moved east, storms damaged homes in a Kentucky town early Monday and a tornado watch for much of the day covered large parts of Alabama and Georgia.
In the southern Kentucky town of Tompkinsville, a severe storm Monday morning damaged several homes and downed trees and power lines, Fire Chief Kevin Jones said. No injuries have been reported, he said. The National Weather Service was checking to see if the damage appeared to be a tornado.
At one point on Monday, a tornado warning prompted Atlanta residents to seek refuge. Atlanta police responded to a call from a downed tree on a house on the west side of the city on Monday morning, police spokesman Anthony Grant said. There were no immediate reports of injuries there, he said.
Atlanta firefighters have responded to several calls for downed trees, Atlanta Fire Rescue said in a statement Monday morning. The agency was not aware of any serious injuries, but asked residents to be on guard as falling trees and branches still posed a threat.
Georgia Power has reported approximately 3,000 outages in the southwestern part of the city. GreyStone Power has reported more than 3,000 outages in Douglas and South Fulton countries.
A mass of warm, humid air was in place as a higher level disturbance moved through the area, triggering storms over the Mississippi, said Mike Edmonston, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mississippi.
“The ingredients were just enough for the development of severe storms,” he said. Three weather service investigation teams were preparing to assess the damage in Mississippi, he said.
More 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, the National Weather Service said in Jackson, noting that “tornadoes are likely Tuesday through Tuesday. evening ”in parts of Mississippi.
Associated Press editors Jeff Martin in Marietta, Georgia; Jeff Amy in Atlanta; Becky Yonker in Simpsonville, Kentucky; and Julie Walker in New York contributed to this report.
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