A large tornado touched down in rural southwest Georgia on Wednesday, toppling trees and power lines as unsafe storms battered the Deep South with heavy rain and hail as large as baseballs in spots.
High winds from the storm downed power lines and trees along roads and beside an interstate, Stewart County Sheriff Office dispatcher Sandra James said by phone.
The storm front also brought baseball- and golf ball-size hail that shattered windows and dented vehicles throughout Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee, according to social media.
The National Weather Service predicts widespread thunderstorms across much of Alabama and Georgia and into the Florida Panhandle and southwestern SC.
No injuries or deaths were reported. "Strong tornadoes remain possible across eastern and northeastern portions of Central Alabama, where the best wind shear remains in place". She said she was unaware of any injuries or major damage to buildings or homes. A flash-flood watch was issued for area across northern Georgia.
The nation's Storm Prediction Center said winds were blowing at near 70 miles per hour in some areas, downing trees in several states. And the National Weather Service says there's likely more bad weather to come, including powerful tornadoes.
Severe thunderstorms ripped across parts of the Southeast, Mid-South and the Midwest on Wednesday.
A damaged structure rests atop a pickup truck in the Screamer community of Henry County, Ala., after a suspected tornado touched down in the county Wednesday, April 5, 2017.
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More than 20 million Americans are in the path of severe weather today from SC to New Jersey.
Much of Alabama, despite the multitude of severe weather reports, dodged the tornado bullet again. "We thought it was a transformer", Ray Weissinger said.
National Weather Service meteorologist John De Block says some locations within the state Wednesday have already received around an inch of rain.
The region faced the threat of supercells developing throughout the day as very large hail and damaging straight-line wind appear to be likely, the National Weather Service said in an advisory.
The storms brought heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail. Elementary school classes will be dismissed at 11 a.m. Wednesday, and after-school activities are canceled.
And as storms bore down on Augusta National, the venerable east Georgia club shut down for the second time this week as golfers tried to get in some practice before the start of the Masters tournament later this week.
This severe weather outbreak was the sixth-most active severe weather day so far this year, and marked back-to-back weeks where severe weather occurred somewhere in the United States.
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