- A possible tornado touched down in Springdale, Arkansas early Wednesday morning.
- More than 50 million Americans are at risk of severe weather on Wednesday.
- Flash flooding will also be a concern Wednesday and Wednesday evening.
Severe storms hit the south on Wednesday, the start of what is expected to be a fierce day across the region, just a week after severe storms hit the New Orleans area.
A possible tornado touched down in Springdale, Arkansas, early Wednesday, injuring seven people, according to the local police department.
Damage was extensive in Springdale, including to an elementary school gymnasium and a warehouse, KFSM-TV reported. The Springdale School District, which is the largest in Arkansas, canceled all classes Wednesday due to storms.
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The Storm Prediction Center said all of Mississippi and parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee were most at risk for severe weather on Wednesday. The biggest concerns were strong tornadoes, some of at least EF-2 strength, and hurricane-force wind gusts of at least 75 mph.
A tornado watch was issued for most of Arkansas, northern Louisiana, southern Missouri, southeast Oklahoma and northeast Texas through early Wednesday after- midday.
The main instigator of the severe weather will be a line of storm surges advancing west to east across the south and lower Ohio Valley, according to Weather.com.
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“The severe thunderstorms are likely to move east at a rapid pace Wednesday evening and could run at 50 mph or more. This rapid movement may not give people in the path of the storms much time to react and recover. take shelter,” AccuWeather meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.
More than 50 million Americans are at risk of severe weather on Wednesday, AccuWeather said. Major cities in the highest risk area include Memphis, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; and Montgomery, Alabama.
The threat will last through the night, and nighttime tornadoes are a major possibility just a week after an EF-3 twister ripped through New Orleans, killing a man.
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Flash flooding will also be a concern Wednesday and Wednesday night, AccuWeather said, particularly because rivers remain at fairly high levels after the latest outbreak of rain and storms.
The storm threat was expected to last through Thursday further east. “Severe thunderstorms are possible across Georgia and the central/eastern Florida Panhandle as well as parts of the mid-Atlantic states on Thursday, the Storm Prediction Center said.
Contributor: The Associated Press