More storms loom after two killed by tornadoes in Georgia

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Much of the US South is facing the risk of more severe weather after tornadoes struck parts of the region on Sunday night and Monday, causing heavy damage in some parts of Mississippi and killing two people in Georgia.

Parts of Texas, 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 Centre.

The 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 weather could include wind gusts of up to 70mph and hail 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 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 on to his vehicle in Douglasville, Georgia, said Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin.

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

In Mississippi, forecasters confirmed 12 tornadoes on Sunday evening and night, including the Yazoo City twister, 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.

Damage in Tupelo, Mississippi
Damage in Tupelo, Mississippi (Adam Robison/Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal/AP)

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 Kentucky 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.

In West Virginia, Jefferson County communications supervisor James Hayden said one person was injured when a possible tornado touched down at a lumber company on Monday evening. The injury was minor, and the person was treated at the scene, he 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 1.5 miles.

The same thunderstorm sent thousands of people to shelter in more central parts of Atlanta and may have produced at least one more tornado south west of the centre. Possible tornado damage was also reported in the region around Athens.

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