- Multiple water rescues were reported.
- Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were without electricity.
- The storms killed at least three people.
The National Weather Service in Birmingham declared a flash flood emergency Tuesday evening for portions of Jefferson and Shelby counties.
A flash flood emergency is a rare alert that indicates imminent, life threatening danger of flooding.
The emergency was in effect until 8:15 p.m. CDT. The NWS warned that additional rainfall of 2 inches was possible.
“This will exacerbate ongoing flash flooding & cause additional flash flooding,” the NWS tweeted.
James Coker, emergency management director for Jefferson County, told The Weather Channel that flooding was ongoing in several areas and there were numerous reports of swift water rescues.
“Pick a direction, go in that direction, you’ll find flooding,” Coker said. “We’ve had an incredible amount of rain across the county. There’s really no area of the county that has not experienced it. We’ve had several inches of rain and expect more rain before the event is over.”
The alert came as powerful and deadly storms continued to cause damage across much of the South on Tuesday with more tornadoes, high winds, hail and flooding.
At least three people have died in the severe weather; two in Georgia and one in Tennessee.
More than 300,000 homes and businesses from Texas across the Deep South and into Virginia and West Virginia were without electricity Tuesday evening, according to poweroutage.us. More than 140,000 of those were in Mississippi.
Heavy rains caused problems throughout the day and evening in Alabama. Many roads in Birmingham and surrounding Jefferson County were flooded, according to WVTM. The National Weather Service said swift-water rescues were needed in Homewood.
New storm damage was also reported in Virginia and Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon.
In Texas late Monday, cars were tossed and semitractor trailers flipped as if they were toys on Interstate 35E.
The interstate was closed for hours between Waxahachie and Forreston, about 30 miles south of Dallas, as first responders pulled drivers from the wreckage. Officials told WFAA-TV three people were hurt in the crash, one seriously.
The winds flipped three semis in the northbound lanes, and southbound 18-wheelers were pushed into the center barrier of the highway, WFAA reported.
“It was a really bad accident,” storm chaser Mike Prendergast told KTVT. “That was where the tornado crossed. Several people that were a witness to it say they saw it cross. There were several cars that were thrown into the field next to Interstate 35E.”
The NWS said the damage was caused by an EF2 tornado.
Elsewhere in Ellis County, five people were injured and 25 to 50 residences and other buildings were damaged, KRLD reported.
Strong winds and hail caused damage in other parts of North Texas. There were reports of possible tornadoes in Hill and Johnson counties. In South Texas, huge hailstones fell on San Antonio.
Downed trees and fallen power lines left thousands without electricity. More than 12,000 homes and businesses in Texas still had no power as of 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to poweroutage.us.
Windows were blown out of a Walmart store in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, and other buildings in the city were damaged, according to the National Weather Service. One report said people were trapped in a home after a tree fell on it.
Part of the roof was blown off the Crawford County Courthouse in Van Buren, Arkansas, KARK reported.
In Tennessee, a woman was killed when high winds blew a tree onto her mobile home in Dresden, Ray Wiggington, the director of Weakley County Emergency Management, said, according to WKRN. Damage was reported across the county and in neighboring Henry County.
At least two people died during storms in Georgia on Monday.
In Douglasville, about 20 miles west of Atlanta, a tree and power lines crashed down onto a vehicle on Campbellton Street near Woodrow Avenue, Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The driver was crushed and died after fire crews cut him from his vehicle, Martin said.
The victim was later identified as Scot Hudson, a local restaurant owner, according to WXIA.
A National Weather Service survey found EF1 damage in Douglas County from a brief tornado.
In middle Georgia, 55-year-old Carla Harris was killed after a tree fell onto her Bonaire home, Houston County emergency officials told the Associated Press.
Much of the Atlanta metro area had a tense morning after the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in Fulton County southwest of the Interstate 20 and Interstate 285 interchange about 10:20 a.m. Monday. Trees and power lines were knocked down in neighborhoods on the southwest side of the city.
Significant debris was seen in south Fulton County. The Pepsico factory on Fulton Industrial Boulevard was damaged, according to WAGA. An air conditioner was ripped off the roof and ceiling tiles were knocked down inside the building. Video shot outside another business in the area showed an overturned semitrailer tractor.
Tornadoes were also confirmed later in the day on both sides of the Georgia-South Carolina state line.
About 30 homes were damaged, 10 of them severely, when an EF1 tornado touched down Monday in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, according to WBKO.
“Luckily, the ones that were damaged the most, no one was at home at the time,” Monroe County Emergency Management Director David Rich said. There were no injuries reported.
One person had minor injuries in West Virginia after a possible tornado touched down at a lumber company Monday evening, Jefferson County communications supervisor James Hayden told the AP. An exterior lumber shed collapsed, Hayden said.
On Sunday, more than a dozen possible tornadoes were reported in Mississippi. Major damage was reported in Tupelo, Calhoun City and Yazoo City.
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