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22 Killed as Tornadoes, Storms Tear Across the South; 1.3 Million Without Electricity

22 Killed as Tornadoes, Storms Tear Across the South; 1.3 Million Without Electricity
At least 18 people have been killed as severe weather and strong tornadoes continued to slash across the South on Monday, destroying hundreds of homes and businesses and leaving more than a million customers without electricity.
There were more than 40 reports of tornadoes as the storms that began on Easter Sunday tore a deadly and destructive path from Texas and Arkansas, across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia and into the Carolinas and Tennessee.
More than 1.2 million homes and businesses were without power in eight states as of 10:30 a.m. EDT Monday, according to PowerOutage.us. Outages were the most significant in North and South Carolina, where nearly half a million customers had no electricity, but every state from Texas to the mid-Atlantic was affected. High winds were responsible for outages in many areas not affected by tornadoes.

South Carolina
One person was killed in Seneca, South Carolina, about 35 miles west of Greenville, when a likely tornado touched down about 3:35 a.m. Oconee County Emergency Services Emergency Management Director Scott Krein said several other people were injured, according to WSPA.
The Hampton County Emergency Management Agency reported three people were killed in Nixville, South Carolina, the National Weather Service reported. Nixville is just across the South Carolina-Georgia border, about 70 miles southeast of Augusta. No other details were available.

A number of tornado warnings were issued in the lower part of South Carolina, and damage was reported in Walterboro, about 40 miles west-northwest of Charleston. The National Weather Service said several structures were damaged and numerous trees and power lines were down. Two people were reportedly trapped in their home when trees fell on it.
Planes were flipped and hangars damaged at the Lowcountry Regional Airport in Walterboro.

Significant damage to aircraft/hanger at the the Lowcountry Regional Airport in Walterboro.

📷: Richard Shealy

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As the line of storms continued to push to the northeast, another tornado was reported in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. Reports said at least two homes sustained major damage.

Earlier Monday, at least five people were killed and almost two dozen were hurt when storms tore through Murray County on the Georgia-Tennessee border. The fatalities were in two mobile home parks near Chatsworth, Georgia, Dwayne Bain, director of the Murray County Emergency Management Agency and fire chief, told the Daily Citizen-News.
In Bartow County, a 34-year-old man was killed about 1 a.m. Monday when a large tree crashed onto his home in Cartersville, Georgia, about 35 miles northwest of Atlanta, WSB-TV reported. The man was asleep at the time, the TV station reported. Two other people inside the house were injured.

Wow. Look at what my colleague @tomreganWSB just drove up to in Upson County. House in the middle of the road.

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South of Atlanta in Yatesville, Georgia, a tornado blew a house off its foundation and into the middle of State Highway 74, WGCL reported. The Upson County Sheriff's Office said no one was in the house at the time of the tornado.

At least 20 people had to be taken to hospitals and more than 150 structures were damaged or destroyed in Hamilton County, which surrounds Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Hamilton County Emergency Management Communications Director Amy Maxwell told the Chattanooga Times Free Press more than 500 first responders were conducting a "grid search" of the hardest-hit areas.
"We're still in the rescue mode and that 's pretty much going through the area which was affected, going door to door to make sure that we got everyone accounted for," Maxwell said. "Obviously, there's significant damage in East Brainerd and East Ridge, but the total destruction is in East Ridge."

East Brainerd Elementaey sustained significant damage last night.@hamcoschools Director of Facilities Justin Witt said this is the worst damage to a school he’s ever seen in Hamilton County.

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About 65 residents of an Alzheimer's living facility were moved to a nearby hotel after the buildings there were damaged in the storm, according to The Weather Channel's Dave Malkoff, who was reporting from the scene. Malkoff pointed out where parts of the roof were ripped off.

One of the hardest hits areas from last night’s storms was Holly Hills. This is the current situation.

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In neighboring Bradley County, six people were taken to a hospital with non-critical injuries, Troy Spence, director of Bradley County Emergency Management, told the Times Free Press. Fifteen people were moved to hotels in a hotel after their homes were severely damaged, Spence said.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency confirmed at least 11 people had been killed there: four in Jefferson Davis County, two in Jones, two in Lawrence, and one each in Carroll, Panola and Walthall counties.
At least five homes were destroyed in Walthall County and other injuries were reported.
The Lawrence County victims were Sheriff's Deputy Robert Ainsworth and his wife, Paula.
"Robert left this world a hero, as he shielded Mrs. Paula during the tornado," the sheriff's office said on Facebook.

More damage from Carbon Hill. The old Chevron station. It also got hit in 2001 when it was still Dobbins Chevron. @wvua23

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Sunday night.
"This is not how anyone wants to celebrate Easter Sunday," Reeves said.
Two long-track tornadoes followed similar paths across parts of the state.
Photos showed the damage and severe weather in the Jones County town of Soso, where one resident told CNN she rode out the storm at the volunteer fire station, which sustained damage.
"All I had was my arms to put over my son and mother-in-law," Candice Pitts said. "Was near a solid glass door that blew out and the roof in many places tore off or collapsed. My car was park(ed) under a shed that is now blown over in a yard nearby. It's mangled."

Major damage around Soso, MS. FD reports numerous injuries. Fire crews still trying to clear roads to get to injuries. @weatherchannel

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In Jefferson County, Arkansas, on Sunday, a person also died when a tree fell on a home. County Emergency Management Director Karen Blevins told weather.com the incident happened in the town of White Hall. Blevins said trees and power lines were down throughout the county and a handful of homes had been damaged.

Earlier, damaging storms and possible tornadoes destroyed homes and businesses, toppled trees and knocked out electricity across several areas of Louisiana.
About 300 homes were damaged or destroyed in Monroe, Louisiana, police Sgt. Chuck Johnson told The Weather Channel. The city was working to secure about 200 hotel rooms to shelter families who were displaced. They were trying to avoid housing large numbers of people in one place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Social distancing posed challenges for emergency officials as they opened shelters during the storm and considered where to house those affected after. Many handed out masks and gloves at storm shelters, while others decided not to open at all.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency.
"The images and reports of major tornado damage in the Monroe area are heartbreaking, and my prayers are with the people there. We are in contact with local officials in the area to provide support," the governor said on Twitter.
There were no immediate reports of major injuries.
"Pray for our city! Many neighbors & friends suffered catastrophic damage," Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said on Twitter. "We are hurting; but not broken."

“By the grace of God, early reports show only a few minor injuries. Pray for our city! Many neighbors & friends suffered catastrophic damage. We are hurting; but not broken. Times like this remind us WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER! Together we we will rebuild.“ - Mayor Jamie Mayo

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The National Weather Service declared a tornado emergency for Monroe in Ouachita Parish at 11:44 a.m. CDT. Doppler radar confirmed a large and destructive tornado was hitting parts of the city.
At least 20 homes were damaged in the Sunflower Subdivision of Monroe, according to a local media report to the National Weather Service.
A video on Facebook showed extensive damage. As a family walks out of a destroyed home, the video showed the front of the house had been ripped away and the living room and dining room were exposed to the rain.
The city of Monroe Twitter account said, "We have reports of wind (or tornado) damage in multiple locations in Monroe." The city also posted photos of damage.

Downed power lines on portions Millhaven road @CityofMonroe PLEASE STAY OFF THIS ROAD until repair crews give an all clear

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Images on social media showed several damaged planes and buildings ripped apart at Monroe Regional Airport.
Ron Phillips, director of the airport, said all flights were canceled until further notice. A hangar owned by AVFlight was heavily damaged, Phillips told the News Star, and he estimated there was $25 to $30 million worth of damage to the planes there.
Two semitractor-trailers reportedly blew over on Interstate 20 near U.S. Highway 165.
Across the Ouachita River in West Monroe, Mayor Staci Albritton Mitchell told the New Star that houses in her city “have been leveled.” She also said police safely rescued some people from their homes after they were trapped by falling trees.
About 45 miles west of Monroe, dozens of trees sheared off in the story blocked eastbound Interstate 20, according to KSLA.
The Shreveport Times said the NWS reported tornadoes in four parishes earlier Sunday: Lincoln, Bienville, DeSoto and Webster parishes.
A Twitter user posted images of damage in Kingston, Louisiana, which is in DeSoto Parish.

Mark Pierce, a spokesman for the Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, told weather.com that multiple trees and power lines were down in Kingston and surrounding areas, and a few mobile homes were hit. A large tree was blocking U.S. Highway 84 heading into Mansfield.
“We’ve had some pretty significant damage,” Pierce said.
He said the sheriff and road crews were still out assessing the impacts, but there had not been any reports of injuries.

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