Severe storms unleash golf ball-sized hail near San Antonio, Texas
AccuWeather’s Bill Wadell interviews eye witnesses from Waxahachie, Texas, where a likely tornado damaged homes and flipped tractor trailers.
It was a stormy start to the first week of May, a month that is typically one of the most active of the year in terms of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Monday’s twisters and damaging storms were a continuation from the weekend when tornadoes tracked across Mississippi, including one that prompted a rare tornado emergency for nearly 100,000 people.
By mid-morning on Monday, the tornado threat reached the Atlanta area with tornado warnings being issued around 10:30 a.m. EDT. AccuWeather National Reporter Kim Leoffler was in the area and witnessed suspected tornado damage first-hand in the wake of the severe storm.
Around the same time, emergency responders received a call about a tree that fell on a vehicle in Douglasville, Georgia, located just west of Atlanta, in what would become the first storm-related fatality of the day.
“When firefighters arrived at the scene, they discovered the driver was trapped inside the vehicle with power lines and a tree on the vehicle,” Douglas County Communications Director Rick Martin said in a statement. “Firefighters had to extricate the driver who we are only identifying as a male at this time until next of kin are notified.”
Tornado-warned storms also tracked near Auburn, Alabama; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Lowndesville, South Carolina, but no reports of substantial damage or fatalities in the wake of these storms.
“Monday’s severe weather started off in the Southeast where rounds of severe weather rocked portions of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Carl Erickson said. "There were many reports of hail and damaging winds, mostly focused over northern Georgia into South Carolina. There were also several reports of tornadoes over northern Georgia."
Shelf cloud towers over Auburn, Alabama, on Monday evening. (Image via Twitter/@Bigaub)
A large shelf cloud was spotted rolling into Auburn, Alabama, on Monday afternoon. Many people took to social media to share images of the unique sight.
As Monday progressed, the threat for damaging storms and tornadoes shifted to Texas and Oklahoma.
Large hail and damaging winds were a threat late Monday afternoon and evening in these areas, according to Erickson.
Golf ball-sized hail spotted at 7:10 p.m. CDT along the west side of San Antonio, Texas, on Monday evening. (Image via Amanda Alonzo)
Golf ball-sized hail was reported along the west side of San Antonio, Texas, on Monday evening as the storms started to ramp up.
The storms in this region of the country initiated around 5 p.m. CDT with penny-sized hail pelting areas west of Dallas shortly after the first rumbles of thunder echoed across the city's suburbs.
Shortly after 9 p.m. CDT, there were reports of flipped over vehicles on Interstate 35 near Waxahachie, Texas, amid a tornado-warned storm.
AccuWeather National Reporter Bill Wadell, who was stuck in traffic due to the incident, said that I-35 northbound was completely blocked and first responders were having a difficult time making it to the scene.
Forecasters say that Texas and Oklahoma will catch a needed break from severe weather on Tuesday, but that violent thunderstorms will shift eastward into the Ohio and Tennessee valleys and Southeast.
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