A line of severe storms with isolated tornadoes and strong winds hit the Deep South, killing at least two in Florida’s Panhandle, knocking down trees and power lines, and damaging homes and businesses when a huge weather front crossed several states.
The Florida County Sheriff’s Office said on Thursday morning that two were killed and two were injured in a tornado that flew into western Florida by Panhandle.
According to Washington Emergency Management Representative Cheryl Frankenfield, two homes were destroyed and power lines were broken. The county’s Facebook page shows at least one house that was destroyed, as well as trees on another house. There were no other details at once.
The Florida Emergency Department has staff to help, said spokeswoman Samantha Becker. She said property damage was also damaged in nearby Jackson County.
“It’s an unpleasant day, but thankfully these storms are moving fast,” she said.
At least two confirmed tornadoes injured several people on Wednesday, damaged homes and businesses and cut power lines in Mississippi and Tennessee after a previous storm damaged Arkansas, Missouri and Texas.
About 185,000 customers were left without electricity on Thursday morning as a result of storms in a number of states: Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, according to poweroutage.us, which monitors utilities.
The worst weather Thursday morning was in the southern part of the storm front, which is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds across the east coast of the United States later in the afternoon. According to the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, much of Florida’s Panhandle was under tornado surveillance.
Extensive damage was reported in the Jackson area, Tennessee, as a tornado warning was in effect. “Significant damage” was inflicted on a nursing home near Jackson-Madison County Hospital and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Jackson, said Madison County Emergency Situations Director Jason Moore.
In Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday night panels fell from five floors of a downtown hotel onto the roof of a building below. The fire department warned that debris could get into the air as strong winds continue and some hotel guests have been relocated to other parts of the building for fear that the roof would become unstable. There were no casualties immediately.
Daylight revealed extensive wind damage across Alabama.
One man was injured when a storm hit the campus of the University of Montevale south of Birmingham, damaging a dormitory, and a woman was injured when a factory house overturned in rural Bib County. A school bus overturned at a high school in south Alabama, and part of the roof was missing from a church in northwest Alabama.
Elsewhere, the warehouse’s roof collapsed when storms passed through Southaven, Mississippi, near Memphis, police said. The building was evacuated, no one was injured.
The Mississippi Senate suspended its work on Wednesday when weather sirens sounded while watching a tornado in downtown Jackson. Some employees hid in the basement of the Capitol.
Rander P. Adams said he and his wife Janice Delores Adams were at their home near downtown Jackson when severe weather erupted on Wednesday afternoon during a tornado warning. He said their lights flashed and a large window exploded a few steps from his wife as she tried to open their front door.
“The glass shattered as if someone had thrown a brick through it,” he said. “I advised her then, ‘Let’s go to the back of the house.’
Adams said the storm felled trees in a nearby park and a large tree across the road from their home split in half. “We were blessed,” he said. “Instead of falling to the house, he fell the other way.”
Earlier on Wednesday, a tornado that struck Springdale, Arkansas, and the nearby town of Johnson, about 145 miles (235 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock, injured seven people shortly after 4 a.m., two in critical condition, according to the mayor. Springdale Arc of Spruce.
In a statement, Sprous said one of the seriously injured had improved and was in stable condition, while the other five had been released from the hospital.
“Our rapid response services have conducted a door-to-door search, and we believe that everything has been taken into account,” said Sprous.
The National Weather Service in Tulsa said Thursday that the tornado received an EF-3 rating compared to the initial EF-2 rating with wind speeds of 136 to 165 mph (219-265 km / h). According to the meteorological service, the tornado reached a top speed of about 145 miles per hour (233 km per hour) and 5 miles (8 kilometers) while on the ground for about eight minutes.
In northwestern Missouri, a tornado EF-1 with a wind speed of about 90 miles per hour (145 kilometers per hour) crashed into St. Joseph on Tuesday night, damaging two homes.
A small tornado also briefly struck the eastern outskirts of Dallas, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. The tornado collapsed on Wednesday at 4:30 a.m. in the McClendon-Chisolm area with a top wind speed of about 100 miles per hour (161 km per hour) and damaged homes but no one was injured, the weather service said.
The storms occurred a week after a tornado in the New Orleans area struck a path of destruction at night and killed a man.
Strong winds in Louisiana overturned semi-trailers, ripped off the roof of a mobile home, crashed a tree into the house and toppled power lines, forecasters said, who did not immediately confirm the presence of a tornado in the state.
The National Weather Service Office in New Orleans said Thursday that teams will travel to the parishes of Tangipahoa and St. Taman in southeastern Louisiana and Jackson County in southeastern Mississippi to inspect the damage. They said the highest wind speed recorded in the office’s coverage area was 67 miles per hour (108 kilometers per hour) at New Orleans Lakefront Airport, and the wind at Baton Rouge reached a high 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour). .
Firefighters, meanwhile, are trying to deal with a wildfire that is spreading near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, amid a mandatory evacuation as the wind picked up before the storm front approached.
The fire, which failed to be extinguished, as of Wednesday afternoon had spread to about 250 acres (more than 100 hectares). One person was injured and a smoke club rose over one community near the site of the 2016 forest fires that devastated the tourist city of Gatlinburg, killing 14 people and damaging or destroying about 2,500 buildings.
At least two people were killed in severe storms in Florida