New storms hit southern US states as week of deadly weather marches on

A wave of dangerous storms has begun washing over southern parts of the US, a day after severe weather with damaging tornadoes and large hail killed at least three people in the region.

A heavy line of storms swept into Atlanta near the end of the morning rush hour.

Busy hub airports in Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, reported delays on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, tornado warnings were issued for parts of Tennessee and Alabama.

The storms continue a streak of torrential rain and tornadoes this week from the Plains to the Midwest and, now, the south-east. At least four people have died since Monday.

The weather comes on the heels of a stormy April in which the US had 300 confirmed tornadoes, the second most on record for the month and the most since 2011.

Storms had already left more than a quarter of a million customers without power on Thursday in North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Missouri, according to

A storm on Wednesday in north-eastern Tennessee damaged homes, injured people, toppled power lines and trees, and killed a 22-year-old man in a car in Claiborne County, north of Knoxville, officials said.

A second person was killed south of Nashville in Columbia, where officials said a tornado had probably touched down and homes were blown off their foundations.

Schools were closed Thursday in several Tennessee counties. Some districts north of Atlanta cancelled in-person classes or delayed start times because of storm damage overnight that included fallen trees on houses and vehicles around Clarkesville. No injuries were reported.

“We’re just trying to clean up right now and wait for the next round,” said Lynn Smith, director of the Habersham County Emergency Management Agency.

Torrential rain led to a flash flood emergency and water rescues north-east of Nashville. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary ground stop at Nashville’s main airport, and the weather service issued a tornado emergency, its highest alert level, for nearby areas.

In North Carolina, a state of emergency was declared on Wednesday night for Gaston County, west of Charlotte, after a storm that toppled power lines and 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 followed heavy rain, strong winds, hail and tornadoes in parts of the central US on Monday, including a twister that ripped through an Oklahoma town and killed one person.

On Tuesday, the Midwest took the brunt of the bad weather. Tornadoes touched down in parts of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, according to the weather service.

Michigan’s Kalamazoo area was hard hit as a FedEx facility was ripped apart, with downed power lines trapping about 50 people.

Tornadoes were also confirmed near Pittsburgh, in central Arkansas and in northern West Virginia. The West Virginia twister was at least the 11th tornado this year in the state, which sees two tornadoes in an average year.


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