An outbreak of severe weather swept the South on Thursday, bringing strong winds and possible tornadoes to parts of Alabama and Mississippi, damaging homes and leaving thousands without power. The threat of severe weather and tornadoes was expected to continue into the night, officials said.
Video shared online by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency showed a home in Monroe County that had been essentially flattened, while other homes nearby had sustained roof damage, with debris littering the area.
“That home is completely destroyed,” Malary White, a spokeswoman for the agency, said on Thursday. More reports of damage were expected later as local officials continued to assess parts of the state, Ms. White said.
Officials said the damage in Monroe County, in northeastern Mississippi, was believed to have been caused by a tornado sometime after 7 a.m. local time. No injuries have been reported.
As the storm system moved east on Thursday morning, it brought severe weather conditions to portions of Alabama and Georgia.
In Bibb County, Ala., the National Weather Service warned on Twitter that a “large and EXTREMELY DANGEROUS tornado” was moving through the area around 11:34 a.m. local time. Less than an hour later, the Weather Service warned residents in Dallas County, Ala., that a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” was moving through Selma.
Minutes later, at 12:53 p.m., the Weather Service warned people in Autauga County, northwest of Montgomery, of a tornado emergency.
“This is a life-threatening situation,” the Weather Service said. “Take shelter immediately!!”
More than 35,000 customers in Alabama and more than 2,000 customers in Mississippi were without power on Thursday afternoon, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks outages across the country. It was unclear whether all of those outages were the result of severe weather moving through the South.
Forecasters said severe weather was expected to continue into the night, with more than 6.8 million people across Alabama and Georgia under a tornado watch until 7 p.m. Eastern time. The Weather Service said that those in areas under the watch could see likely tornadoes, isolated hail the size of quarters, and wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour.