Tornadoes Batter Multiple Southeast States

February 18, 2016

Weather service experts are assessing damage from storms that caused problems in several Southeast states.

At least six south Alabama counties suffered damage from storms on Monday. The Johnsonville Volunteer Fire Department was heavily damaged in Conecuh County near Castleberry. The National Weather Service was still determining Tuesday whether that storm was part of a system that hit Century, Florida, with an apparent tornado. Possible storm damage also was reported in Russell, Barbour, Crenshaw and Montgomery counties.

No injuries were reported despite storms that prompted multiple tornado watches and warnings in south Alabama.

In Florida, crews worked to clear roads and restore power in the western Panhandle early Tuesday as a fresh line of violent storms hit South Florida during the morning rush hour.

A tornado touched town in Century, a small town on the Florida-Alabama border Monday night. The storm destroyed or significantly damaged 10 homes. Other areas of the western Panhandle reported brief power outages as the storm system moved through the region Monday night. Fallen tree limbs and other debris littered roadways in some areas of downtown Pensacola.

Early Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported some wind damage in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

A strong line of thunderstorms passed through Miami-Date County just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Chuck Caracozza said. The same system went through Palm Beach and Broward counties during the morning commute, bringing dark skies, heavy rain and wind.

About 10 miles north of Fort Lauderdale, a suspected tornado damaged about 50 horse stables, briefly trapping the animals, said Sandra King, spokeswoman for the Pompano Beach Fire Rescue Department. She said one horse suffered a gash and was being treated. She said the suspected tornado also damaged a movie theater.

Also in Alabama, fire officials say several families have been displaced by a blaze at a metro Atlanta apartment complex.

DeKalb County Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Crump told WSB-TV a bolt of lightning struck a tree Monday night and jumped to the roof of the Avalon on Montreal apartment complex in Clarkston.

Crump says the fire destroyed two apartments, two others sustained water damage and part of the roof caved in.

Crump tells CBS46 that lightning strikes during a storm that passed through the area Monday evening caused four fires in the county.

The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that four tornadoes touched down in Mississippi as severe weather swept through the state on Monday.

An EF-2 tornado struck in central Mississippi’s Copiah County.

Three tornadoes were classified as EF-1. They were in Leake and Winston counties in the center of the state and Walthall County in the southwest.

Clean-up crews were working Tuesday at Wesson Attendance Center at the Lincoln-Copiah county line. Parts of the roof and some siding were torn off the K-12 school. The library and the gymnasium were damaged, as were several classrooms. Students were at school when the storm struck Monday, but no injuries were reported. Classes were cancelled Tuesday.

Nineteen Mississippi counties reported some damage from Monday’s storms.

In North Carolina, NWS said a tornado caused some damage in Carteret County.

Meteorologist Scott Kennedy of the weather service office in Newport says the tornado touched down shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday in Davis. He says the tornado had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph and a maximum width of 500 feet.

The tornado covered about 4 miles during the three to five minutes that it was on the ground.

The weather service says the storm damaged the Luther Lewis and Son Crab Shack and knocked down five power poles.

No injuries or fatalities were reported.

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