Weather & Natural Disasters

Storms Batter Southeast With Tornadoes, Rain and Flash Floods

Ian Wood
A tornado touches down in Tulsa, Okla., on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.
Larry Papke | AP

Authorities were working to clear downed trees and power lines Friday after a storm brought tornadoes, heavy rain, hail, and flash floods to the Southeast.

Despite weakening overnight, the storm was expected to continue hammering the region as it moves eastward over Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

Damaging severe thunderstorms will continue to flare up across parts of the Gulf Coast and Southeast, the Weather Channel said.

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"The cluster of storms this morning have weakened," said Weather Channel Meteorologist Michael Palmer. "But as we head through the day, it will increase to severe by this afternoon."

NBC affiliate WTVA in Tupelo, Mississippi reported a tornado ripped its way through Lowndes County Thursday afternoon. The twister snapped trees to pieces and downed power lines along Highway 69.

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About 5,000 customers were without power Friday morning in Mississippi, according to energy companies.

Don Smith and his family were caught in the middle of the twister. "We were just out in the shop messing with our cars, and all of a sudden, my wife called and said you need to come in, the siren is going off," Smith told WTVA.

"When we come running out of the shop, there was some tin come flying off the top of the shop there. It was like nothing I've ever seen or been in.

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Gregory Robinson, spokesman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, said there were no reports so far of any injuries.

"We have had damage ranging from trees and power lines down to roofs damaged by the storm," Robinson told NBC News early Friday.

Palmer said calmer weather in sight despite severe weather advisories remaining in place through Friday.

"Today is the last day of the organized severe weather across the southeast," Palmer said. "Things will dry out for the most part going into the weekend."