Inclement weather – including a tornado in the Atlanta area – continued to roar in the storm-battered south Monday evening, a day after several tornadoes were reported in Mississippi.
In all, more than 100 million people from New Mexico to Delaware were exposed to some form of severe weather Monday afternoon and evening, the Storm Prediction Center said.
More severe storms were expected in the southeast on Tuesday, forecasters warned. The states most at risk included much of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, the Prediction Center said.
Storm risks on Tuesday will include hail, showers, tornadoes and straight-line wind gusts of up to 75 mph, according to AccuWeather.
As of Monday morning, a tornado warning had been issued for parts of the Atlanta metro area, but it expired after the storm moved through the area.
A confirmed EF-1 tornado roared in the Atlanta area, the National Weather Service said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He cut down trees in the area and killed a man in Douglasville, Georgia, when a fallen tree knocked down power lines on his vehicle, firefighters said.
And in central Georgia, Carla Harris, 55, was killed after a tree fell on her Bonaire home, Houston County emergency officials 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.
A tornado watch remained in effect Monday afternoon for parts of Alabama and Georgia as well as parts of South and North Carolina. Severe thunderstorms, including isolated tornadoes, can occur in the central Alabama strip through central and northern Georgia, central and northern South Carolina, and parts of Carolina north until Monday evening, “AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
A separate tornado watch was also in effect across Texas and Oklahoma late Monday evening.
A tornado warning was issued for parts of the Charlotte, North Carolina metropolitan area on Monday afternoon, but it expired after the storm threat passed, the National Weather Service said.
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.
In the southern Kentucky town of Tompkinsville, a severe storm Monday morning damaged about 30 houses and felled trees and power lines.
The weather service also said severe thunderstorms and ongoing heavy rains could result in damaging gusts, hail, a few tornadoes and flash flooding in parts of the southern plains to the middle of the Mississippi and the lower valleys of Ohio throughout the day and Monday evening.
Larger metropolitan areas such as Little Rock, Arkansas; St. Louis and Indianapolis could be in the crosshairs of these dangerous thunderstorms, AccuWeather said.
Sunday afternoon and overnight, a line of severe storms hit the Mississippi. Late in the day, a “tornado emergency” was declared for Tupelo and its surroundings.
“Damage has been reported in the city of Tupelo,” the mayor’s office said in a Facebook post just before 11 p.m. “Emergency crews are currently assessing the degree of damage. Please do not go out and drive.”
‘I opened the door, I saw trees fly’
The smell of pine is thick on Walker Road just north of Terry, Mississippi.
Residents believe a tornado ravaged the rural community on Sunday night, snapping trees in half and uprooting others, according to a National Weather Service report.
Tyler and Taylor McPhail were not at home as the storm front descended around 7:45 p.m. and rapidly increased in intensity.
Strong winds from the storm uprooted an oak tree in the front yard and blew it on top of their one-story home, shattering the roof of their living room.
It was the first big storm the two have experienced in their home since moving in five years ago.
“We’re fortunate not to be home,” Tyler said.
About a mile up the road from the McPhail house, Claude Jackson was following the weather forecast on his television on Sunday night when he heard what he first thought was hail. He walked to his front door and quickly learned that his house was bombarded with debris caught in the high winds.
“When I opened the door, I saw trees flying,” he says.
Monday morning, he was assessing the damage. Part of its roof had been torn off, leaving a clear view of the sky from a bedroom. Tree branches littered the front yard.
The media also reported tornadoes near central Mississippi earlier today. The Jackson, Mississippi Weather Service shared several images of funnel clouds in different parts of the state.
In Yazoo County, Emergency Management Director Jack Willingham said the damage in the county was significant, but sporadic.
“It was like (the storm) was jumping,” he said.
Willingham said around 30 structures were damaged and at least 10 homes were completely destroyed by a suspected tornado that swept through the county. Three mobile homes were also returned, one of which still had a resident inside. The boy, who has not been identified, was not injured, Willingham said
“ High fire time threat ”
In the western part of the country, a storm in Colorado continued to bring heavy snow to the central Rockies. According to the weather service, up to a foot of snow is expected to accumulate by Monday evening, and winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories were in effect in northern and central Colorado.
And in California, temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above average could pose a threat to wildfires.
“The combination of warm temperatures, low relative humidity, expanding drought conditions and gusty winds could produce a high fire weather threat,” the weather service said.
Contributors: Elinor Aspegren and Jorge Ortiz, USA TODAY; Justin Vicory and Keisha Rowe, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger; The Associated Press