South braces for more severe weather in wake of killer storms

Forecasters say much of the South is at risk of severe weather again Tuesday after numerous tornadoes struck the region the last two days. At least two people were killed by storms in Georgia, there was a dramatic scene in the Dallas area as an apparent  funnel crossed an interstate, and twisters caused severe damage in parts of Mississippi.

Large portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, as well as corners of Arkansas and Georgia are at enhanced risk for the worst weather, according to the national Storm Prediction Center. That zone is home to more than 11 million people and includes the cities of Nashville, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Jackson, Mississippi, forecasters said.

“We’ll see all three threats as far as hail, wind and tornadoes on Tuesday,” said Mike Edmonston, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Mississippi.

They could include wind gusts of up to 70 mph and hail to the size of golf balls, forecasters said, noting that “tornadoes are likely Tuesday into Tuesday evening” in parts of Mississippi.

The risk follows heavy weather that moved across the South on Sunday and Monday, damaging homes, downing power lines and uprooting trees from Mississippi to West Virginia.

CBS News weather producer David Parkinson says 17 tornadoes were confirmed from Sunday and Monday and another 19 storms were being gauged.

A tornado spotted in Atlanta forced thousands to seek shelter and a man was killed Monday morning when a falling tree brought power lines onto his vehicle. He was pronounced dead after fire crews cut him from the vehicle in Douglasville, Georgia, west of Atlanta, Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin told reporters.

The motorist, identified as Scott Hudson, was the beloved owner of Hudson’s Hickory House, a family-owned restaurant that’s been in Douglasville for 50 years, reports CBS Atlanta affiliate WGCL-TV.

“We lost a very special person today,” said Carolyn Brock, a Douglasville resident who stopped by the scene of the crash. “Scott was well-known, well-liked.”

“Scott did good for people around here,” added Cassandra McCain, a frequent patron. “He was good, took care of people. Great person.”

And in middle Georgia, 55-year-old Carla Harris was killed after a tree fell onto her Bonaire home, Houston County emergency officials said.

A possible tornado touched down in Ellis County, Texas Monday night. CBS Dallas storm chaser Mike Prendergast was following its path when he came across a serious crash involving a big rig on I-35E, near Waxahachie.

“It was a really bad accident … where the tornado crossed,” he said. “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 (the interstate). There were at least two semis that were blown over and several cars involved as well in [the accident].”

Predergast held the hand and comforted the man injured in the big rig. There was no word on his fate.

Ellis County officials tweeted that mobile homes and businesses sustained severe damage.

The weather first turned rough in Mississippi on Sunday, where just south of Yazoo City, Vickie Savell was left with only scraps of the brand-new mobile home where she and her husband had moved in just eight days ago. It had been lifted off its foundation and moved about 25 feet. It was completely destroyed.

The storms hit the northeast Mississippi city of Tupelo late Sunday, damaging homes and businesses.

There were multiple reports of damage to homes on Elvis Presley Drive, just down the street from the home where the famed singer was born. Presley was born in a two-room house in the Tupelo neighborhood but there was no indication that the historic home sustained damage. It’s now a museum.

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