YAZOO CITY, Miss. (NewsNation Now) — Much of the South faced more severe weather Tuesday that has killed at least three people, spawned tornadoes Sunday night and Monday and damaged homes and uprooted trees from Mississippi to West Virginia.
Parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, as well as corners of Arkansas and Georgia were 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.
The risk follows heavy weather that moved across the South on Sunday and Monday. More than 100,000 people were without electricity early Tuesday in states from Texas to Kentucky, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility outages.
Tuesday’s storms 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.
Forecasters confirmed 12 tornadoes Sunday evening and night, including a twister in Yazoo City, which stretched for 30 miles, and another tornado that moved through suburbs of Byram and Terry south of Jackson that produced a damage track 1,000 yards wide.
Late Sunday, meteorologists declared a “tornado emergency” for Tupelo and surrounding areas. The mayor said in a statement that damage had been reported and emergency crews were assessing.
“Our house started to shake, and I was telling him get deeper in the corner and just stay there, just stay right there,” said Marlena Triplett, who was with one of her sons. “I’m lost. I’m numb. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Her house, just a mile from downtown, is one of the worst to see damage in the city. Large uprooted trees had fallen into her home.
“The tree that fell the closest to where we were, it kind of like shifted just a little bit and missed our location where we were at,” Triplett said.
A Tennessee woman died when a tree fell on her home as storms moved through the state Tuesday, Weakley County Emergency Management Director Ray Wiggington told NewsNation affiliate WKRN. He said at least six mobile homes were damaged by the falling tree around 4 a.m.
A tornado warning in Atlanta forced thousands to seek shelter, and one man was killed when a falling tree brought power lines onto his vehicle in Douglasville, Georgia, west of Atlanta, Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin said. And in middle Georgia, 55-year-old Carla Harris was killed after a tree fell onto her Bonaire home, Houston County emergency officials 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 90 mph with a path that ran 1.5 miles. 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. Possible tornado damage was also reported in the region around Athens.
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 a vehicle was blown over and a storage unit building was heavily damaged. Multiple locations reported golf ball-sized hail.
In the southern town of Tompkinsville, a Monday morning storm later confirmed as a tornado damaged several homes and knocked down trees and power lines, Fire Chief Kevin Jones said. No injuries were reported, he said.
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.
Hail and high winds buffeted north Texas, where just before midnight on Monday, powerful winds from a likely tornado flipped three semi-trailers over on Interstate 35 in the driving rain, authorities said.
The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliates around the country contributed to this report.