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Tornadoes and heavy winds strike five states as storms continue into the Southeast

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At least 23 preliminary tornado reports were tracked in five states on Wednesday, in accordance with the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, with the most apparent storm damage in Alabama and Mississippi.

A confirmed “large and extremely dangerous” tornado was spotted near Shelton State Community College, south of Tuscaloosa, at 2:45 p.m., according to the National Meteorological Service of Birmingham, Alabama.

At least 37 homes were damaged by storms in the cities of Moundville and Akron, Hale County, Alabama, according to county emergency manager Russ Weeden.

Further east, at least a dozen damage areas are being investigated in the Birmingham, Alabama area. in accordance with the National Meteorological Service. In southwest Alabama, two people were injured when the storm destroyed their home. Four more homes in the area they were damaged.

A possible tornado that struck Wayne County, eastern Mississippi, damaged two homes and left roads blocked due to debris, according to Angela Atchison of the Wayne County Emergency Department. No injuries were reported.

Thursday’s biggest threat of storms is now shifting eastward to parts of the southeastern U.S., including Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

On March 17, 2021 there was a tornado in Moundville, Alabama.

Tens of millions under storm warnings

An estimated 45 million people will be threatened by severe storms Thursday, from the Ohio Valley to South Florida, according to the Storm Prediction Center. According to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy, tornadoes, some of which can be intense, will worry along with damaging winds and heavy hail.

Learn the difference between a tornado clock, a tornado warning, and a tornado emergency
The worst of severe weather push a the Carolinas and parts of parts of Central and Southern Georgia late in the morning. There is a high risk for strong tornado development for more than 8 million from southeast Georgia through the Carolinas to the north of the outer banks.

One of the areas of greatest concern is the coastal area of ​​the Carolinas, which straddles the state line between North and South Carolina, and includes Wilmington and Myrtle Beach.

According to Guy, as the storm line progresses throughout the day, there is a risk of gaining more energy and being more violent. Other locations that should be on the lookout for stronger tornadoes Thursday are Raleigh / Durham, Savannah, GA and Columbia, SC.

Another line of storms will develop in the afternoon outside the Ohio Valley and northern Kentucky and will head into the Appalachians of West Virginia and Virginia. The system won’t stay organized for long, but the potential for dangerous weather will continue into the early evening, Guy said.

The south end of the storm line will reach the Florida Panhandle and move to central Florida during the early evening hours. The risk of strong winds, dangerous lightning, hail and tornadoes will continue overnight.

On March 17, 2021 it is suspected that a roof of a house in northeastern Lincoln County (Mississippi) was ripped apart by a tornado.

Schools and vaccination centers are preparing for the storms

The areas of northern Georgia and the Atlanta subway predict storms in the morning, which has led Atlanta schools to move to online learning on Thursday.

“Due to inclement weather forecast during the night and morning, including the potential for heavy rain, harmful winds and tornadoes, Atlanta public schools will observe virtual teaching and learning on Thursday, March 18,” he said. announce the district Wednesday afternoon.

Covid-19 vaccine distribution has also been disrupted by the storm line, with DeKalb County in the Atlanta subway announcing his schedule changes. Georgia Emergency Management and National Security Agency Massive Vaccination Site Plan to delay opening or alter the hours to avoid severe weather.

“Our first concern is the safety of staff and patients in these outdoor venues,” said Chris Stallings, director of GEMA / HS. “We call for public collaboration as we adjust schedules and want to assure those who have an appointment that they will be rescheduled quickly if necessary.”

CNN’s Kay Jones and Brandon Miller contributed to this report.

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