MONTGOMERY, Ala. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Violent storms killed one person in Texas early Tuesday as hail pelted communities and high winds knocked trees into power poles elsewhere in the South. Authorities issued a flurry of tornado warnings at the start of what could be two days of violent weather in the region.
In eastern Texas, Whitehouse Fire Chief Madison Johnson confirmed a person was killed as storms moved through early Tuesday. Officials did not immediately release further details about the death, though they said at least four homes in the area had trees fall on top of them.
More than 46,000 homes and businesses were without power Tuesday afternoon from eastern Texas to central Alabama. Lightning struck a flea market in the north Alabama community of Lacey's Spring, causing a fire that gutted the building, news outlets reported, and rising water in Mobile Bay covered part of a ramp on Interstate 10. Some counties where tornado warnings had been issued reported trees down and homes damaged. No injuries were reported.
The Storm Prediction Center said severe storms with powerful tornados were possible across a broad area stretching from southern Mississippi to the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. The area most at risk included more than 8 million people in the Alabama cities of Mobile and Montgomery; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus and Savannah in Georgia.
Elsewhere in Texas, one person was injured when the storms swept through Johnson County, about 40 miles southwest of Dallas.
Forecasters said the threat of damaging weather will move to the north on Wednesday with severe storms possible across an area stretching from western Alabama to the western tip of the Carolinas. More than 10 million people in metro areas including Atlanta; Birmingham; and Chattanooga, Tennessee, will be at risk, the Storm Prediction Center said.
Springtime often brings strong storms to the Southeast, and the region has faced a barrage of weather recently that included a tornado last month in metro New Orleans, where one person died, and storms that killed at least two people in the Florida Panhandle last week.
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