Tornado hits Alabama college town ahead of big Southeast storms

Charlene Craig
March 23, 2018

Clouds and wind move through the Atlanta area, Monday, March 19, 2018.

Strong and severe storms will bring the possibility of damaging winds, hail, and even an isolated tornado.

Tornado damage in Ardmore, Ala.

A severe weather system created havoc in the Southeast Monday - much of it in Alabama. The county Board of Education said all schools would be closed on Tuesday.

School officials said major damage was done to the roof of the school's 3,500-seat coliseum. "However, the strongest storms may also produce large hail and carry a threat of tornadoes".

The National Weather Service said the storms were caused by warm, humid air and low pressure across the lower MS valley on Monday. Several roads were closed because of power lines or trees, the office tweeted.

No fatalities have been reported, and crews are working to rescue people who may be trapped under buildings destroyed by the storm.

Georgia Power reported that about 8,000 customers were without power Tuesday morning statewide, with more than 2,000 of them in the Haralson area.

Damaging wind gusts and large hail will be the main threats, along with the possibility of a few tornadoes, forecasters said. The weather service says hail as large as 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) in diameter could fall, and there's a possibility of wind gusts to 70 miles per hour (115 kph).

The tornado watch, which is issued until 7 p.m. for 11 counties, means conditions are favorable for a tornado to form.

The same storm system that battered Alabama and Georgia was taking aim Tuesday at a large part of Florida and coastal communities in Georgia and the Carolinas. Be prepared mid-Monday afternoon and into the evening!

Montgomery County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service, has declared the week of March 26 through March 30 as Severe Weather Awareness Week. "Best chances are east of Interstate 95".

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