Tornado warnings lifted in Southeast as states assess damage

Forecasters expect severe thunderstorms to move across the Southeast on Wednesday, bringing a threat of tornadoes and large hail.

Stewart County Sheriff Office dispatcher Sandra James says preliminary reports indicate the storm toppled power lines and several trees along roads and the interstate.

It tallied numerous reports of hail and high winds and listed nine possible tornadoes - seven in Georgia, one in IN and one in SC.

The storms will affect Alabama, Florida, Georgia and SC before moving into the OH and Tennessee valleys, according to the National Weather Service. There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths there, but emergency crews were still on the scene sorting things out.

In most of Georgia, forecasters said damaging winds will start Wednesday morning and extend into the afternoon.

A very powerful spring weather system will charge through the Mid-Atlantic on Thursday, setting off thunderstorms that could be severe.

The National Weather Service is warning residents in central North Carolina to be sure they can receive severe weather alerts overnight.

Two separate systems are expected to hit the area Wednesday.

A straight-line wind is any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation and is a term used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory website.

There's also a chance for isolated tornadoes and hail, National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Sena told CNN.

Damaging wind- The second round of storms early Thursday morning will have a moderate risk of producing strong winds of 50 to 60 miles per hour.

By early Thursday morning, a few severe storms will likely return, but the tornado risk will be much lower.

The severe weather caused the cancellation of Wednesday's Par 3 contest at the Masters Tournament for the first time ever, forcing hundreds of people to leave.

"We are still taking cover and actively watching the storm", Poole said.

Currently, a Tornado Watch over Georgia is set to expire at 1 p.m.

"The greatest threat is eastern Alabama, southern Tennessee and especially Georgia", he said.

A possible tornado caused damage in Missouri.

A damaged structure rests atop a pickup truck in the Screamer community of Henry County, Ala., after a suspected tornado touched down in the county Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

Elsewhere, Alabama's governor declared a state of emergency because of the threat, resulting in multiple school closings, and many schools in SC dismissed classes early.

The National Weather Service has confirmed four tornadoes touched down in the state's northwestern area during severe weather earlier this week.

"We encourage everyone within the city of Bowling Green and Warren County to have their weather radios on, cell phones charged and to take the proper precautions when planning for severe weather within their workplace and their homes".

  • Leroy Wright