Southern storms damage homes, buildings and power lines
Homes and buildings were damaged and trees felled as a line of intense thunderstorms swept through several southern states, authorities said. No injuries were immediately reported.
In the city of Winfield, western Alabama, storms on Wednesday damaged buildings in the downtown area, authorities said. Walls of buildings collapsed and roofs lay on the roads, Winfield Police Chief Brett Burleson told WBRC-TV.
âDowntown Winfield is a dangerous area,â the Marion County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement posted to social media. “There are confirmed broken power lines.”
Police have ordered people to stay out of the city center while officers and sheriff’s deputies work to assess the damage in the city, located about 120 kilometers north-west of Birmingham.
âIf you don’t have to go down here, don’t do it,â Burleson told the WBRC. “There are lines down, glass in the road, nails.”
In Etowah County, northeast Alabama, an emergency official reported that a pole barn was destroyed and at least two homes were damaged.
In southern Georgia, a team from the National Weather Service planned to investigate damage in Bainbridge after “a probable tornado” swept through the city, the Tallahassee, Fla. Meteorological service office said. The weather service usually investigates damage before confirming it has been caused. by a tornado.
The storm in Georgia damaged the roof and sign of a convenience store, uprooted a tree and damaged a carport, the city’s Public Safety Bureau said in a statement.
The storms triggered tornado watches and warnings on Wednesday for parts of several states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, but it was not immediately clear whether the tornadoes had caused the damage in Alabama.
The threat of severe weather continued Thursday, with several strong storms threatening parts of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina as the system moves east.
More storms are expected in the region on Friday and Saturday, the National Storm Forecasting Center said.
The southern storms come as people living in the Pacific Northwest endured freezing cold and unusually freezing cold during the final days of 2021.
Heavy snowfall interrupted travel on much of the main east-west freeway through Washington state for more than eight hours on Thursday and also hampered traffic in the Seattle and Portland metro areas, in Oregon.
Authorities closed approximately 80 miles (129 kilometers) of Interstate 90 over the Cascade Mountains “due to near zero visibility and adverse road conditions.” The highway was closed from around 4.30 a.m. to 1 p.m., although most vehicles had to be fitted with chains.
In California, snow interrupted traffic on a major highway in the mountains north of Los Angeles early Thursday, the latest in a series of December storms that hit the state. The section of Interstate 5 was closed before dawn, the California Highway Patrol said.
Mudslides, debris flows and rockfall have caused localized problems on many other roads. The City of Malibu tweeted that firefighters and rescuers have taken 22 people to the safety of a flooded campground near Leo Carrillo State Beach.
To the north, residents of mountain communities were digging, with reports of extensive damage to trees and power lines in places such as Foresthill and the Nevada City area, both northeast of Sacramento. Thousands of residents remained without power, with warnings some could be without lights and heat for another week.