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Severe Thunderstorm Watch

Reports: Damaging storms unleash tornadoes, large hail from Georgia to Indiana

By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
April 06, 2017, 3:32:30 AM EDT

As of 3:30 a.m. EDT Thursday, this reports story is no longer being updated.

A significant threat for severe weather will focus along the southern Atlantic Seaboard into Thursday morning with damaging storms putting lives and property in danger.

Storms will be capable of producing large hail, wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph, flooding downpours and isolated tornadoes.

Thunderstorms will reach from the Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley with the most violent storms tracking across Georgia and South Carolina.

Related Links:
Indiana and Ohio to Florida at risk for severe storms, tornadoes into Wednesday night
Latest watches and warnings
The difference between tornado watches and warnings

At 12:26 a.m. EDT Thursday, an emergency manager reported a tree down on a house near Simpsonville, South Carolina.

Dime to quarter-sized hail was reported in northeastern Georgia, specifically Franklin Springs, Hartwell and Reed Creek, as of 12:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.

Golf ball-sized hail was reported on Tybee Island, Georgia at approx. 11:55 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

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Lightning streaks across the sky in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina on April 6, 2017. (Twitter/@Sshine72 )

At 11:50 p.m. EDT Wednesday, a new severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for portions of eastern and central Georgia and western and central South Carolina until 7:00 a.m. EDT Thursday.

At 12:10 a.m. EDT Thursday, a new tornado watch has been issued for northern and central Florida, including Jacksonville and Orlando, until 8:00 a.m. EDT Thursday.

Residents should keep their cell phones on with the volume turned up or keep a weather radio nearby in order to hear severe weather warnings into the early morning hours.

At 11:06 p.m. EDT Wednesday, emergency managers report numerous trees and power lines down along U.S. 27 north of Hamilton, Georgia. 

Over 6,500 Georgia Power customers are without power, with most outages around the Atlanta metro area.

At 10:38 p.m. EDT Wednesday, a confirmed tornado was located near Tibet, Georgia, moving northeast at 40 mph. Locations that will be impacted by the storm include Tibet, Jones, Riceboro, Townsend, Shellman Bluff, Retreat Eulonia and Pine Harbor, Georgia. 

At 9:55 p.m. EDT Wednesday, a line of severe thunderstorms was approaching Atlanta. Thunderstorms may bring damaging wind, hail and flooding rain to the city. One thunderstorm in this line had produced a tornado near Penton, Alabama.

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At the same time, a thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was also located near Offerman, Georgia, located near the southeast corner of the state, and was tracking toward McKinnon, Georgia.

Nearly 2,000 electric customers are without power around Charleston, South Carolina after severe thunderstorms moved through the area, according to SCEG.

Hail and wind gusts past 40 mph were observed all around the city with a 58 mph gust measured near Isle of the Palms.

At 8:33 p.m. EDT Wednesday, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Grassy Lick, Kentucky and was moving to the northeast toward Owingsville, Kentucky.

At 8:15 p.m EDT Wednesday, a severe thunderstorm with a history of producing quarter-sized hail was moving into Charleston, South Carolina. Heavy downpours may also lead to localized flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas across the city.

Tonight's Cincinnati Reds game has been delayed due to weather. Thunderstorms that moved through the city earlier this evening produced wind gusts past 55 mph and small hail, according to an NWS trained spotter.

Two people have been injured around McMinnville, Tennessee after damaging thunderstorms moved through the area, according to the 911 call center. Law enforcement reported that in both cases, a mobile home was destroyed, possibly by tornadoes.

At 6:05 p.m. EDT Wednesday, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was approaching the area around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. People in this area should seek shelter immediately.

myrtle beach arp5

Damage is being reported in Elizabeththtown, Kentucky, after a tornado-warned thunderstorm moved through the area. As of 5:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday it was unclear if the damage was caused by wind or a tornado. Large hail accompanied the storm, which is now heading toward Lebanon Junction, Kentucky.

This video from Twitter shows the conditions in Elizabethtown, Kentucky as the severe thunderstorm moved through.

At the same time, another severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was just south of Elizabethtown, tracking toward Munfordville, Kentucky.

Hail as large as baseballs has been measured near Talladega and Munford, Alabama as a severe thunderstorm moved over the area.

This thunderstorm is tracking east and may impact travel along I-20. Motorists along this stretch of highway may encounter blinding downpours that limit visibility to just a few hundred feet.

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Hail was nearly the size of softballs in Munford, Alabama on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo/Twitter user @jordandale821)

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A hailstone that fell in Munford, Alabama on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo/Twitter user @msparks02)

A second area of severe thunderstorms is developing over Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and southern Illinois. Several thunderstorms in this area have already produced hail larger than quarters with storms expected to become more widespread into Wednesday evening.

At 3:50 p.m. EDT Wednesday, a confirmed tornado was located near Lowery, Georgia, and was tracking east toward Soperton. People in the path of this storm should seek shelter immediately.

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At 3:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, several thunderstorms across southern Georgia were capable of producing tornadoes, including this severe thunderstorm near Eastman.

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A severe thunderstorm located near Eastman, Georgia on Wednesday afternoon that was capable of producing a tornado. (Photo/Reed Timmer)

Storm damage has been reported in parts of southwestern Georgia, including in Clay and Quitman counties. At the University of Georgia in Athens, heavy rain triggered flooding around campus.

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Possible tornado damage on County Line Road in Quitman County, Georgia. (Photo/Cynthia Wadsworth)


Flooding was reported at the University of Georgia. (Photo/Instagram user cin.aed)

At 2:02 PM ET Wednesday, a confirmed large and destructive tornado was located near Drayton, Ga., moving east at 35 mph.

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Damage to at least two structures has been reported in the town of Weston, Georgia, according to the local 911 center. One building had its roof blown off and the other structure collapsed.

In South Carolina, a possible tornado is moving toward the town of Ridge Spring, which is located about 42 miles to the southwest of Columbia.

Play has been officially canceled for the day at Augusta National Golf Club.

At 12:32 p.m. EDT Wednesday, a confirmed large and destructive tornado was located 7 miles south of Lumpkin, Georgia. Residents in the area need to find shelter immediately. A tornado emergency has been declared for southern Stewart County and Webster County.

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The Clayton County Office of Emergency Management is urging residents to take cover as severe thunderstorms track near Jonesboro and Riverdale, Georgia, as of 12:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

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Severe storms have forced the postponement of play at the 2017 Masters in Augusta, Georgia. The golf tournament was scheduled to hold its final day of practice at Augusta National Golf Course. Play could resume once storms clear the area.

Elsewhere, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a ground stop for flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

A possible tornado is reported to have caused extensive damage in Goodman, Missouri, late Tuesday night. Photos of the damage began to emerge on social media on Wednesday morning. Significant damage was reported to the town's fire station and elementary school, according to Fox 2 in St. Louis.

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Storm damage in Goodman, Missouri, is seen during the early morning hours on Wednesday. A severe storm hit the area late Tuesday night. (Photo/Alex Durham 5News)

At around 5:42 a.m. CDT, golf ball-sized hail was reported around DeArmanville, Alabama, according to an National Weather Service trained spotter.

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A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued south of Birmingham, Alabama, until 5 a.m. CDT on Wednesday. The storm is reportedly producing half dollar-sized hail.

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Tennis ball-sized hail has been reported in Clayton, Alabama, at about 1:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday.

Three radar sites are currently out of service in the affected area, including Montgomery and Ft. Rucker, Alabama, and Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. This could possibly hamper storm warning abilities throughout the day.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley declared a statewide State of Emergency on Tuesday in anticipation of Wednesday’s severe weather outbreak. This will allow state agencies to be prepared to carry out the state Emergency Operations Plan if it is needed.

School districts across the region are also preparing for severe thunderstorms with dozens of schools announcing that they will be closed or will have an early dismissal on Wednesday. This includes several colleges and universities.

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