1 dead, 2 injured as storms, possible tornados hit South

One person died from an apparent tornado in Rutherford County early Tuesday morning. NOTE: This is a stock photo and IS NOT a picture of Tuesday morning's storms. Photo: Broderick Delaney / CC BY 2.0

Officials say severe storms sweeping across the South on Tuesday have killed a person and injured at least two others, knocking down trees and leaving thousands without power. The weather disrupted Election Day voting in some places, forcing citizens to use paper ballots instead of electronic voting machines.

In Tennessee, Rutherford County EMS spokesman Patrick Miller told news outlets that crews responded to a collapsed home where one person was confirmed dead. He said two others were injured when a nearby mobile home rolled over.

Possible tornados touched down in Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi, felling tree limbs and power lines and prompting some schools to delay the start of classes. In northeast Alabama near the Tennessee line, the National Weather Service said an apparent tornado damaged barns and smaller buildings, but no injuries were reported.

Tennessee Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins said the polling places that had electricity knocked out are operating on generators and have emergency ballots ready for voters. He said the paper ballots would be counted Tuesday. He said the largest area of power outages was in Knox County, where nearly 20,000 customers remained without power Tuesday morning.

Officials say crews are working to restore power to thousands of residents from Louisiana to South Carolina.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that parts of Tupelo were closed off late Monday as debris, downed trees and power lines blocked roadways. Tupelo Communications Director Leesha Faulkner says there was also a gas leak in a residential area.

In Rutherford County, Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Lisa Sloan said crews responded to a house blaze early Tuesday that appears to have started from a lightning strike. She said there was heavy damage, but no injuries.

Possible tornados were also reported in Natchitoches Parish in Louisiana on Monday afternoon.

This follows severe storms that were blamed for two deaths in the Gulf Coast area last week.

Crews said a woman died when a home collapsed on Midland Road. That person's identity has not yet been released.

A radar-confirmed tornado touched down in Christiana overnight. It was one of several tornadoes that came through the midstate.

There were also several radar-confirmed tornado warnings in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area. NewsChannel 9 is covering damage reports in Bledsoe and Grundy Counties.

Rutherford County crews say several people are being transported and there are multiple scenes. Two women were being transported to the hospital in another house collapse.

Also in Rutherford County, WZTV reports a man and three kids were saved by smoke alarms from a house fire on Barley Drive. Officials believe the fire was started by lighting, but the investigation continues.

Crews are still working a structure fire on Barley Road. A mobile home is reportedly on its side and power lines are down all across back roads in the area.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off