Oct 14, 5:46 PM EDT

Storms blamed for 2 deaths sweep across the South


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ATLANTA (AP) -- A severe storm system roughed up much of the South for a second day Tuesday, knocking out power to tens of thousands as it snarled morning commutes and kept many under a tornado watch.

The vast system, which claimed two lives Monday after spinning off tornadoes in Arkansas and Missouri, sent heavy thunderstorms across much of Georgia. Cars crawled under heavy rain on morning commutes in Atlanta as water pooled on some low-lying roadways.

The Storm Prediction Center said more than 36 million people were in the path of damaging storms that formed in the Midwest earlier in the week. The center said possible tornadoes and damaging wind gusts remained a threat as the storms head across the southern Appalachians into the Carolinas.

Georgia Power reported roughly 3,000 customers without electricity Tuesday afternoon, the bulk of the outages in the greater Atlanta area and north Georgia. Alabama Power reported about 7,000 customers still without power Tuesday afternoon. Tens of thousands of the utility's customers had their power restored overnight and early Tuesday.

Tornadoes also touched down in two Atlanta suburbs. An EF1 tornado hit Alpharetta - northeast of Atlanta - and an EF0 tornado was confirmed in East Point, southeast of downtown Atlanta, said National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Willis.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Monday even before the severe weather had cleared out of his state. The storms downed trees and power lines in Louisiana, leaving thousands without electricity.

A major utility provider in Louisiana, Entergy, said some more than 37,000 customers remained without power in hard-hit regions of that state. Large trees fell on some houses in Monroe, a city in northeast Louisiana, where downed branches and tree trunks block many streets.

No additional deaths were reported by later Tuesday morning as the storms raced eastward.

In Alabama a day earlier, a tree fell on a mobile home about 25 miles northwest of Birmingham, killing a 75-year-old woman and injuring her husband, a coroner said. A tornado near Ashdown, Arkansas, killed a man and injured his wife when their home was destroyed Monday, authorities said, adding it was one of two tornadoes in the state that day.

Two tornadoes also touched down Monday in Missouri, causing roof damage and toppling trees, according to the National Weather Service. And in Texas, lightning was suspected in a fire that set ablaze an oil well site near Longview.

Authorities said the storms dumped enough rain in Tennessee to cause some street flooding in Chattanooga, forcing road closures. Trees were knocked down and the heavy rains and high winds prompted some school districts in southeast Tennessee to delay the start of classes by up to two hours Tuesday.

The weather also led to the postponement of Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in Kansas City, between the Royals and the Baltimore Orioles.

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Associated Press writer Phillip Lucas contributed to this story.

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