After a rash of violent storms killed 26 people in the South, some of the same areas will get hammered again by a new round of storms Sunday.
“A few strong tornadoes and very large hail may occur with the most intense storms, particularly from central Louisiana across central/southern portions of Mississippi and Alabama this afternoon and evening,” the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said.
Already, a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” struck Sunday morning south of LaGrange, Georgia, the weather service in Atlanta said.
No fatalities were immediately reported, but at least three people were injured in the storm, officials said.
“It was awful … a lot of homes were destroyed,” LaGrange Mayor-elect Willie T. Edmondson told CNN affiliate WSB.
As many as 100 homes were damaged, with 30 to 40 “completely destroyed,” Troup County Emergency Management Director Zachary Steele said in a news conference Sunday.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency order “following the severe storms and tornadoes that struck this morning,” Kemp tweeted. “As we continue to monitor the weather and work with local partners to address damage throughout the day, I ask all Georgians to join us in praying for those impacted.”
Across the South and Southeast, more than 30 million people are at risk of severe storms Sunday from Houston all the way to the coasts of the Carolinas.
Threats include the possibility of strong tornadoes, hail the size of tennis balls and damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph, the Storm Prediction Center said.
A tornado watch is in effect until 11 p.m. local time for eastern Louisiana and central and southern Mississippi, including the cities of Jackson, Meridian and Hattiesburg.
“Large hail and damaging winds will be the main threats initially, but the tornado potential should increase toward and after sunset, when low-level shear will considerably increase.” the Storm Prediction Center said. “This includes the potential for long-lived supercells and strong tornadoes (EF2+).”
A tornado watch is also in effect until 1 a.m. local time in much of central and southern Alabama, including Birmingham and Montgomery.
10 tornadoes in one night
President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration Sunday for parts of Mississippi after tornado-spawning storms shredded homes over the weekend. At least 25 people in Mississippi were killed, along with another victim in Alabama.
At least 10 confirmed tornadoes struck Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee Friday night, according to several weather service offices.