Severe Storms Tear Through Southeast

At least 3 dead in Tennessee, North Carolina
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 9, 2024 5:30 AM CDT
Storms Kill at Least 3 in Tennessee, NC
A home damaged by severe weather in Columbia, Tennessee.   (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

Forecasters warned a wave of dangerous storms in the US could march through parts of the South early Thursday, after storms a day earlier spawned damaging tornadoes and massive hail, leaving two dead in Tennessee and one dead in North Carolina. The storms continue an outbreak of torrential rain and tornadoes that has cut across the country this week, from the Plains to the Midwest and now the southeastern US, the AP reports.

  • Amid Wednesday's storms, the National Weather Service continued issuing tornado warnings that stretched past midnight in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and Kentucky. Parts of Arkansas and Mississippi were also under a tornado watch through the pre-dawn hours.

  • One storm that rumbled across northeastern Tennessee on Wednesday brought high winds that knocked down power lines and trees. Bob Brooks, the sheriff in Claiborne County, about an hour north of Knoxville, said a 22-year-old man was in a car when he was fatally struck by a falling tree. A second person was killed in the city of Columbia in Maury County, where the National Weather Service said a likely tornado had touched down. Columbia is just south of Nashville.
  • The storms also prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a temporary ground stop at Nashville International Airport and the National Weather Service to issue a tornado emergency—its highest alert level—for other nearby areas south of the state's capital, including Chapel Hill and Eagleville.
  • In North Carolina, a state of emergency was declared Wednesday night for Gaston County, west of Charlotte, following a large storm that toppled power lines and severed trees, including one that landed on a car. One person in the car was killed and another was taken to a hospital, officials said.
  • The storms rolled into the region Wednesday after parts of the central United States were battered Monday by heavy rain, strong winds, hail, and tornadoes, including a deadly twister that ripped through an Oklahoma town and killed one person. Then, on Tuesday, the Midwest took the brunt of the bad weather. The National Weather Service said tornadoes touched down in parts of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana on Tuesday. In Michigan's Kalamazoo County, a FedEx facility was ripped apart, leaving about 50 people temporarily trapped inside because of downed power lines.
(More severe weather stories.)

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