Twenty million Americans from Kansas to Florida are on alert Thursday for severe weather, including tornadoes, intense wind and huge hail.
More than a hundred thousand were without power Wednesday night as severe weather produced tornadoes, high winds and large hail that prompted more than 250 storm reports in the South.
As of 3 a.m. ET, more than 135,000 homes and businesses in the region were in the dark across in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, according to tracking site PowerOutage.us.
There were at least eight tornado reports and 85 reports of hail, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Almost 10 million people were under severe thunderstorm watch, meaning the risk of hazardous weather was high but where and when the storm will hit are uncertain.
“Severe storms will be possible well into tonight,” officials with the National Weather Service tweeted Wednesday.
The weather service office in Mobile, Alabama, reminded residents to be prepared.
“Severe thunderstorms continue to move across the area this evening,” the office said, urging those in the area to check local television stations, weather apps or NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed.
In Texas’ Cass County – which borders Arkansas and Louisiana – vehicles were blown off a highway, according to CNN affiliate KSLA.
Roger Scharbert, of Shreveport, Louisiana, told the station said he was heading southbound on US 59 when things went dark.
“And I got hit and got lifted of the ground and went rolling twice in that car right there. Pretty much got banged up a little bit, but I’m OK,” he said.
Motorist J.D. Abbott said the wind picked up and the vehicle he was in ended up in the median.
In Albany, Georgia, two people were in a house that was destroyed by a storm, Calhoun County Sheriff Josh Hilton told CNN affiliate WALB. The people escaped injury and eventually freed themselves from the rubble, the station reported.
One resident in Henry County, Alabama, told CNN affiliate WTVY his trailer started wobbling and they hit the floor.
“So we all just had to hunker down and just try to ride it out,” he said.
According to National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, around 5 million people in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia were under an enhanced risk for storms into the morning hours Thursday.
Parts of central Arkansas were impacted by large hail as severe thunderstorms rolled through the region on Wednesday, June 14. Video recorded from inside a home in Hot Springs, shows large hail stones battering the surface of Lake Hamilton. The National Weather Service warned of baseball-sized hail and winds up to 70mph across the region.
There have been more 150 high wind reports across the South as of Wednesday night, including 82 mph winds in Cleveland, Mississippi – faster than the 74 mph threshold for hurricane-force winds.
Brooksville, Mississippi reported 5-inch hail Wednesday evening and there was 4-inch hail in Doerun, Georgia, and Crystal Springs and Slabtown in Arkansas.
And the storms won’t end Wednesday. Another round is expected to impact the South on Thursday. [CNN]
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