A tornado tore through a housing subdivision in Alabama on Thursday, causing severe destruction. Thousands were left without power across the Deep South as strong winds and heavy downpours swept across the region. The National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings in Alabama and surrounding states where forecasters said strong twisters that could stay on the ground for miles. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued an emergency declaration for 46 counties as the severe weather approached, and officials opened shelters in and around Birmingham.
Severe weather also hit parts of Mississippi on Thursday, a day after authorities reported a weather-related death in the southwestern part of the state. Parts of Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia were also at risk of strong tornadoes, and areas in the path of Thursday’s storms included Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee.
A flash-flood watch Thursday covered northern parts of Alabama and Georgia and portions of Tennessee and western North Carolina. Up to 4 inches of rain were predicted, with higher amounts possible in northern Alabama.