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Severe Storms Sweep Across US South, Leaving Destruction in Their Wake

by Ethan Kim
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severe storms

Powerful storms traversed the southern regions of the United States from Texas to Georgia on Wednesday, leaving a trail of destruction with damaging winds, potential tornadoes, and other hazards.

As the National Weather Service issued numerous tornado warnings, primarily in southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia, concerns grew over the possibility of hurricane-force winds exceeding 90 mph (145 kph) in parts of northeast Louisiana and central Mississippi. The storm system also unleashed large hail, adding to the chaos.

Alarming footage captured tornadoes striking Abbeville and Eufala in Alabama, shared widely by witnesses. Meanwhile, in Georgia’s Troup County, authorities reported that an individual was struck by lightning during the afternoon, with no immediate updates on their condition.

The severe weather took its toll on the power infrastructure, leaving tens of thousands of people without electricity in both Alabama and Georgia. At its peak, the outages affected nearly 50,000 individuals in Alabama alone.

The threat of severe storms is expected to persist into Thursday, particularly in southern Alabama, Georgia, the Florida Panhandle, as well as parts of Oklahoma, northern Texas, and southern Kansas.

Felecia Bowser, meteorologist in charge for the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Florida, expressed the unusual nature of this far-reaching inland storm system for this time of year. Typically, June sees preparations for tropical weather rather than the widespread and aggressive precipitation observed in the current scenario, which is more common during the spring.

In rural southwest Georgia, storms wreaked havoc as a home was obliterated, fortunately with the occupants escaping unharmed. Videos circulated on social media displaying a large funnel cloud near Blakely, while nearby communities reported fallen trees and damaged power lines. Hailstones, some as large as golf balls, pelted the yard of Connie Hobbs, the elected commission chairman for Baker County.

Southwest Georgia’s major city, Albany, and surrounding Dougherty County were under tornado warnings, although no significant damage or injuries were reported, according to county government spokeswoman Wendy Howell. The primary concern in the area was flooding, as heavy rain continued to pound the region.

Across the state line in Alabama, Eufaula witnessed confirmed tornado damage. While no injuries were immediately reported, the storm caused a building wall to collapse and toppled 30 to 40 trees, according to Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs. Local news outlets featured videos submitted by viewers, showcasing a tornado tearing through nearby Henry County and the resulting roof damage.

In eastern Texas, specifically Cass County, Sheriff Larry Rowe informed KYTX-TV that several vehicles were blown off a highway during the tornado warning. Fortunately, there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about severe storms

What areas were affected by the severe storms in the US South?

The severe storms crossed multiple states in the US South, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and parts of Oklahoma and Kansas.

What were the main hazards associated with these storms?

The main hazards associated with these storms were damaging winds, potential tornadoes, and large hail. Some areas experienced gusts of hurricane-force winds exceeding 90 mph (145 kph).

Were there any reports of injuries or casualties?

While there were reports of damage to buildings, trees, and vehicles, there were no immediate reports of injuries or casualties. However, one person was struck by lightning in Georgia, but there was no immediate information on their condition.

Did the severe storms cause power outages?

Yes, the severe storms caused power outages in both Alabama and Georgia. At one point, close to 50,000 people in Alabama alone were without power.

Will the severe storm threats continue?

According to forecasters, the severe storm threats were expected to persist into Thursday. The greatest risk areas included southern Alabama, Georgia, the Florida Panhandle, as well as parts of Oklahoma, northern Texas, and southern Kansas.

More about severe storms

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