People across the southern United States were removing trees from roads and buildings as forecasters planned to survey damage from several possible tornadoes in Georgia and South Carolina, but said the effort could be disrupted by the possibility of more storms on Wednesday.
Violent storms killed at least two people, one in Georgia and one in Texas, on Tuesday as hail, high winds and tornadoes tore through the South, leaving 50,000 homes without power and authorities warning of a second day of violent weather.
More than 7,000 customers in Texas and more than 5,000 in Georgia were without power early Wednesday, according to PowerOutage.us, which tracks blackouts across the country.
In southeast Georgia, a woman was found dead Tuesday night in the crushed remains of her mobile home in the unincorporated community of Ellabell, Bryan County Coroner Bill Cox said.
In Pembroke, Georgia, the county seat, a suspected tornado ripped off part of the roof of the Bryan County Courthouse, destroyed the driveway to a local government building across the street and damaged homes in nearby neighborhoods, a local official said. .
Several others were injured in the county 30 miles west of Savannah, Georgia, said Matthew Kent, a county government spokesman who said the death occurred in one of the damaged neighborhoods but gave no further details.
In East Texas, 71-year-old WM Soloman was killed when storm winds toppled a tree on Solomon’s home in Whitehouse, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Dallas, said Whitehouse Mayor, James Wansley. Authorities said trees fell on at least four houses there.
The change of seasons from winter to spring in the US often brings severe storms to the southeastern part of the country. This year, the region has faced a barrage of storms included a tornado last month in New Orleans, where one person died, and the storms that killed two people in the Florida Panhandle last week.
The bad weather threat it will move farther north on Wednesday, forecasters said, with severe storms possible in an area stretching from western Alabama to the western Carolinas. More than 10 million people in metropolitan areas around Atlanta, Birmingham, Knoxville and Chattanooga will be at risk, the Storm Prediction Center said.
“The atmosphere will again prepare for more severe storms as we go through Wednesday,” said Jared Guyer, a meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
In southeast Georgia, 23-year-old Gage Moore was driving home from work Tuesday night on Interstate 16 in Bryan County when his fiancee called saying she heard tornado sirens. About two minutes later, Moore said, he looked up and saw a massive tornado looming to the left of the road.
Moore said he pulled over and stopped his car behind an overpass, then took cellphone video of the funnel cloud churning across the interstate.
There was a tornado that touched down near Statesboro, Georgia a few hours ago, crossed right over I-16. 🌪️🌪️pic.twitter.com/i5xlbo5Khw
— All Georgia (@GAFollowers) April 6, 2022
“Everyone around me started hitting the brakes,” Moore said. “I could actually feel my truck shaking from side to side and hear it roar as it went by.” He added: “Fortunately, we all pulled over and left a big gap on the interstate where it was crossing.”
In South Carolina, Allendale County Manager William Goodson said a tornado, captured on video on social media, caused damage in his rural county.
Debate was delayed for nearly an hour in the South Carolina legislature after the state House chamber was evacuated over a tornado warning in the state capital of Columbia.
“I know we have damaged buildings and downed power lines,” Goodson said.