Violent Storms Kill 2 in Georgia and Texas, Damage Homes

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At least two people have died after strong winds and tornadoes ripped through the South on Tuesday, damaging buildings and tearing down trees, officials said.

The first individual, identified as 71-year-old W. M. Soloman, died when storms in eastern Texas toppled a tree onto his home in Whitehouse, which is located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Dallas, Whitehouse Mayor James Wansley said.

“Our prayers are with the friends and family of Mr. Soloman, who we lost early this morning when the storm pushed a tree down across his home”, said Wansley said in a statement.

“Last night’s storm also brought down power lines, obstructed traffic, and caused property damage in the heart of the city of Whitehouse,” Wansley added.

At least four other homes were hit by trees, officials said.

On Tuesday night as the storms moved east, a woman was killed in Pembroke, Georgia, said Matthew Kent, a county government spokesman.

A suspected tornado tore off part of the roof from the Bryan County courthouse, and destroyed part of a local government building as well as multiple homes in nearby neighborhoods, Kent said.

Bryan County Fire and Emergency Services said that it had received reports of multiple houses with people trapped in the city and county and was sending multiple agencies to help provide relief.

The county declared a state of emergency Tuesday night and set a curfew in place from 10:30 p.m. until 6 a.m., prohibiting anyone from trespassing into the impacted areas of North Bryan County which include Homestead, Park Place, the Black Creek Golf Course, and the County Buildings in Pembroke, in order to protect properties.

The state of emergency will remain in effect for 10 days.

“North Bryan has taken a pretty hard hit. We have multiple agencies coming to assist,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook. “This is not the time to be taking pictures and just driving around. Obey all law enforcement directions and keep an eye open for emergency lights. We are blocking off as many roadways that are hazardous as possible. If a car is blocking a roadway then that means it is closed. Do not stop and ask if the roadway is open. Please get inside somewhere safe and hunker down for a while. We will continue to update as possible as there is no service.”

Meanwhile, more than 30,000 homes and businesses were without power Tuesday night from eastern Texas to South Carolina, according to PowerOutage.us.

The confirmed deaths came after the National Weather Service issued a nonstop stream of tornado warnings for hours as the storm system passed through Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

Warnings were also issued in South Carolina, where a debate over legislation that would require athletes to compete with the gender listed on their birth certificates was delayed for nearly an hour after the state House chamber was evacuated for a tornado warning for Columbia.

At least three people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in Allendale County in South Carolina, a spokesperson for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said.

Approximately 54 reports of tornadoes have been issued across Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

More severe thunderstorms are expected on Wednesday across the Southeast, including the Atlanta metro area, NWS said late Tuesday, and are expected to produce heavy rain, damaging winds, and some tornadoes.

“Metro areas under the enhanced risk (level 3 out of 5) include Atlanta, Birmingham, and Chattanooga,” the weather service said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Katabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.



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