01:29 - Source: CNN
Drone video shows destruction after tornado hits Tennessee
CNN  — 

Violent storms were tracking through parts of the South Thursday, a day after deadly, destructive thunderstorms and tornadoes tore through the central and southern US, marking more chaotic weather amid a two-week streak of danger.

Large hail – some the size of golf and tennis balls – pounded parts of the South Thursday, especially in Texas, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Strong winds also were reported from east Texas to South Carolina, leaving numerous reports of downed trees across the region, the prediction center said.

The South still was dealing with substantial damage wrought by storms Wednesday. Tennessee was especially hard hit that day, with multiple tornadoes and water rescues amid flash flood emergencies in the state.

At least one tornado has been reported in the US every day since April 25 – a streak of 15 days and counting - and there have been more than 300 reported tornadoes during that span. April and May are the most active months for tornadoes and severe weather, and that reputation continued Thursday, when more than 60 million people in the South and East were at risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

A tornado emergency unfolded Wednesday evening in Maury County, located about 25 miles south of Nashville. The National Weather Service warned of a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” near the city of Spring Hill. The tornado killed one person and injured about a dozen others, according to county officials.

Mark Zaleski/The Tennessean/USA Today Network
Ryan Whitten walks around his destroyed home Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Columbia, Tennessee.

In northern Alabama, a “large and destructive tornado” prompted a tornado emergency late Wednesday in the area of Henagar, a city of a couple thousand people roughly 55 miles east of Huntsville, the National Weather Service said.

The twister that moved through Henagar was an EF-2 tornado, with peak winds of 135 mph, and it injured seven people, the weather service’s office in Huntsville said.

Here’s the latest on ongoing storms and destruction in the central and southern US:

At least three dead in the South: One person was killed on Wednesday in Claiborne County, Tennessee, when a tree fell on their car amid intense storms, the county’s emergency management office said. Another person died in Tennessee after a tornado touched down in Maury County Wednesday evening. In North Carolina, one person was killed in Gaston County near Charlotte when a tree fell on their vehicle, officials said.

Damage in Columbia, Tennessee, from a tornado.

Tornado injures several, causes significant damage: About a dozen people were injured by the tornado in Maury County, Tennessee, officials confirmed in a press conference Thursday. At least one person is in serious condition, Maury Regional Medical Center spokesperson Rita Thompson told CNN. Video from the scene showed buildings torn to shreds, homes missing large sections of roofs and walls and large trees snapped in half.

Water rescues amid flash flood emergencies: Up to 9 inches of rain triggered flash flood emergencies and water rescues in communities just north of Nashville, Tennessee, Wednesday evening. Flooding in Robertson County blocked roadways and forced water rescues, the county’s emergency management agency told CNN. Emergency crews have also responded to water rescue calls and evacuated flooded homes in Sumner County, the county’s emergency management director Ken Weidner said. Sumner County Schools are closed Thursday due to the flooding.

Fallen trees damage cars and homes in North Carolina: About 1,200 weather-related calls for service were made in Gaston County Wednesday, Emergency Management and Fire Services Deputy Chief Lance Foulk said during a news conference Wednesday evening, including multiple calls for fallen trees on vehicles, homes and power lines. Schools in the county are closed Thursday, officials said.

Thousands of power outages: Amid the severe storms, several states have experienced power outages. More than 50,000 homes and businesses in Alabama, more than 44,000 in Texas, more than 16,000 in North Carolina and more than 13,000 in Tennessee were without power as of Thursday night, according to PowerOutage.us.

Courtesy Robbie Murray
A tornado hits the Spring Hill, Tennessee, area on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.

Expansive storm threat again Thursday

Strong storms moved through parts of the South on Thursday afternoon, unloading damaging winds and tornadoes. At least two tornadoes tracked through southern Georgia – one near Ellaville and the other near Alston – according to the National Weather Service.

Severe thunderstorms also rumbled to life in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma early Thursday afternoon. Additional storms were expected to develop into the overnight hours. Very large hail and damaging wind gusts are the main threat with storms in the southern Plains, but tornadoes remain possible.

Additional storms also were expected to develop in the Southeast into Thursday night. A Level 3 of 5 risk of severe thunderstorms was in place Thursday from Texas to Georgia and southern South Carolina.

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Damaging wind gusts, hail and tornadoes are possible within any storms. Powerful winds will be the main threat for areas closer to the coast.

Heavy rainfall will raise the risk of flash flooding across much of the South. Areas from Texas to the Carolinas are under a Level 2 of 4 risk of excessive rainfall Thursday, according to the Weather Prediction Center.

On Friday, the severe weather threat peaks across northern Florida, southern Georgia and the southernmost corner of South Carolina. Those areas are under a Level 2 out of 5 risk, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

“Isolated to scattered severe thunderstorms appear possible Friday across parts of the Southeast. Damaging winds should be the main threat,” the center said.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Jennifer Feldman, Joe Sutton, Sara Smart, Taylor Ward, Robert Shackelford, Amy Simonson and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.