Weather

Tornadoes and high winds pound the South still recovering from last week's deadly storms

Posted April 20, 2020 3:18 a.m. EDT
Updated April 20, 2020 10:03 a.m. EDT

— For the second Monday in a row, people across the South are waking up to storm damage caused by extreme winds, hail and tornadoes.

Deadly tornadoes struck the same region on Easter. The region experienced eerily similar conditions on Sunday.

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There were reports of at least seven tornadoes Sunday night into Monday morning. In addition, there were more than 100 reports of damaging winds and more than 30 reports of hail from Kansas to Florida.

One of those strong and potentially large tornadoes tracked just south of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Sunday night. The Hattiesburg Police Department said on Twitter that trees were downed and vehicles flooded in the wake of the storm.

Over the course of Monday, the storms will continue east and move north to Virginia, and an area including the east coast of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina will be under the threat of severe thunderstorms.

Fortunately, the threat to the US will likely be over by the afternoon hours as the storm is expected to move offshore and into the Atlantic, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.

The damage already done

But the storm already had an impact Sunday.

Roughly 55,000 customers were without power Monday across Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, according to PowerOutage.us, down from 90,000 earlier in the morning.

One Twitter user showed large hail pelting Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday.

In Alabama, Shaina Scott of Alexander City said the hail smashed multiples holes in the side of her house. It was quick, just 20 to 30 minutes, but it was unlike anything Scott had ever experienced, she said.

Johnette Lamborne told CNN her family is safe but the hail damaged her home, car and storage shed.

This time of the year is primed for storms like these, said CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

"While unusual to see nearly identical-looking threats exactly one week apart, this is the peak time of year for severe weather and tornadoes across the southern US, especially in the area called Dixie Alley," Miller said.

Recovering from last week

This system is like the one that struck the region last week.

"No two weather patterns are ever the same, but these are very similar," said CNN meteorologist Gene Norman. However, this week does have some differences, Norman said, including a jet stream that is further south.

More than 40 tornadoes spanned more than 1,200 miles from Texas to South Carolina last week.

The storm system caused the deaths of at least 32 people and destroyed homes before moving to the East Coast.

The storms fell over the Easter holiday and during the coronavirus pandemic. Many were left with the decision to follow social distancing protocols or shelter safely from the storms. And once they had passed, some didn't have their homes left to shelter in.

Homes destroyed in the storms won't be habitable anytime soon, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said after visiting the damage.

Last week, the storms killed at least 11 people in Mississippi, nine in South Carolina, eight in Georgia, two in Tennessee, one in Arkansas and one in North Carolina.

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