Tuesday, May 24, 2022

2 dead in Florida as severe weather, tornadoes wreak havoc across South. Where are storms headed next?

2 dead in Florida as severe weather, tornadoes wreak havoc across South. Where are storms headed next?

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  • About 185,000 customers were without electricity Thursday morning in the wake of the storms.
  • The two people who were killed were inside the same mobile home.
  • The storms continued to race toward the East on Thursday.

Severe storms and tornadoes blasted across the South early Thursday, killing at least two people in the Florida Panhandle, damaging homes and businesses in several states and leaving tens of thousands powerless.

At least two people were also injured when a tornado touched down in rural Washington County, Florida, according to emergency management officials and the National Weather Service in Tallahassee.

Mark Wool, warning coordination meteorologist for the Weather Service, said the two people who were killed were inside the same mobile home. A photo taken by local law enforcement shows the home obliterated.

“If you live in a mobile home or a residence that is not going to stand up to the wind – and there are a lot of those in the rural part of the state – you need to have a way to be alerted when the tornado warning comes out,” Wool said. “Otherwise you’ll sleep through it. And I suspect that’s what happened here.”

WHAT IS A TORNADO? Everything you need to know about these violent storms

The storms continued to race toward the East on Thursday, and the Storm Prediction Center placed a wide swath of the Eastern Seaboard at risk of severe weather throughout the day. A tornado watch was in effect across portions of northern Florida and southern Georgia.

The likelihood of severe thunderstorms and the potential for a few tornadoes include some major population centers along the Interstate 95 corridor from New York City to Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and all the way down to Jacksonville, Florida, according to AccuWeather.

About 185,000 customers were without electricity Thursday morning in the wake of the storms along a band of states: Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utilities.

WHAT IS A FLASH FLOOD WATCH OR WARNING?Here’s what to know about this deadly weather hazard

At least two confirmed tornadoes injured several people Wednesday, damaged homes and businesses and downed power lines in Mississippi and Tennessee after an earlier storm caused damage in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas.

Thus far, the strongest tornado from the current outbreak occurred early Wednesday morning in Springdale, Arkansas, and was rated as an EF3 with maximum winds of 145 mph, AccuWeather said. The storm injured several people and damaged homes and a school. Fortunately, the storm stuck prior to the arrival of students.

Contributing: The Tallahassee Democrat; The Associated Press

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