TORNADOES in Texas and Georgia have left at least two dead and several hurt as three trucks were blown off a road in high winds.
Severe storms spawning multiple tornadoes moved across the South on Monday, damaging homes and uprooting trees from Mississippi to West Virginia.
A tornado spotted in Atlanta forced thousands to seek shelter, and one man was killed when a falling tree brought power lines onto his vehicle.
The motorist was pronounced dead after fire crews cut him from the vehicle in Douglasville, Georgia, west of Atlanta, Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin told reporters.
And in middle Georgia, 55-year-old Carla Harris was killed after a tree fell onto her Bonaire home, Houston County emergency officials said.
In Texas, three trucks were blown off of the road following the heavy winds.
The weather first turned rough in Mississippi on Sunday, where a line of severe storms rolled through the state during the afternoon and into the nighttime hours.
Late on Sunday, a “tornado emergency” was declared for Tupelo and surrounding areas.
News outlets also reported tornados near Yazoo City, Byram and Tchula earlier on Sunday.
As the system moved east, storms damaged homes in a Kentucky town early on Monday and a business in West Virginia, and a tornado watch for much of the day covered large parts of Alabama and Georgia.
In South Carolina, at least one tornado was reported Monday afternoon in Abbeville County.
The tornado appeared to be on the ground for several miles, according to warnings from the National Weather Service.
No injuries were immediately reported. In Greenwood, downed trees and power lines were reported, while tents were blown onto cars at an auto dealer. Multiple locations reported golf ball-sized hail.
In the southern Kentucky town of Tompkinsville, a severe storm Monday morning damaged several homes and knocked down trees and power lines, Fire Chief Kevin Jones said. No injuries were reported, he said.
In West Virginia, Jefferson County communications supervisor James Hayden said one person was injured when a possible tornado touched down at a lumber company Monday evening.
The injury was minor, and the person was treated at the scene, he said. An exterior lumber shed collapsed, Hayden said.
National Weather Service surveyors confirmed one tornado west of Atlanta near where the motorist died.
The twister was determined to have peak winds of 90mph with a path that ran 1.5miles. At least 10 homes had trees on them.
The same thunderstorm sent thousands of people to shelter in more central parts of Atlanta and may have produced at least one more tornado southwest of downtown.
Firefighters responded to multiple calls of trees down, Atlanta Fire Rescue said in a statement.
No significant injuries were reported, although more than 20,000 Georgia residents lost power at one point.
Possible tornado damage was also reported in the region around Athens.
More storms are in store for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia on Tuesday, forecasters said.
Tuesday’s storms could bring wind gusts of up to 70mph and hail to the size of golf balls, forecasters said, noting that "tornadoes are likely Tuesday into Tuesday evening" in parts of Mississippi.
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