Lines of severe thunderstorms moved early Thursday through Alabama, where one person was killed and another was injured. High winds destroyed two mobile homes near the town of Demopolis, the Storm Prediction Center reported.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether a tornado was to blame, but the Marengo County emergency manager said the deadly storm hit after 2 a.m., according to WBRC-TV.
The line of storms brought several inches of rain and high winds to New Orleans, where scaffolding collapsed at the Four Seasons Hotel construction site downtown.
One person was sent to the hospital and debris hit five vehicles, FOX8 reported. Hail pounded downtown streets and high winds shattered the glass of two revolving doors as the storms moved through.
More than 10,000 homes and businesses were without power in Mississippi and Alabama, and outages were rising in neighboring Georgia as storms moved into the state. High winds in the Atlanta area caused a tree to fall onto a highway during the morning rush hour. Video from Dunwoody Police shows the tree striking a car.
“Please be careful! We are very thankful there were no serious injuries,” police tweeted.
A possible tornado was reported in the Birmingham suburb of Helena, while flooding was reported in other parts of the state.
Tornado and flood watches covered large parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Florida Panhandle Thursday morning.
Klotz said Thursday that while the South sees the threat of severe weather, areas with colder temperatures are seeing big winter snowstorms.
Winter storm watches and warnings stretch from Missouri through to New England. Forecasters said while a few inches were expected on the coast of Maine, up to 16 inches could fall in the New Hampshire mountains before sunny skies over the weekend.
“We are getting absolutely everything today,” Klotz said. “There’s going to be snow, there’s going to continue to be tornadoes.”
The storm system on Wednesday dropped snow along the Mexican border in El Paso, Texas, and freezing temperatures were expected to preserve accumulations from the Red River Valley of Texas through Oklahoma, prompting school systems to remain closed Thursday in those areas.
Snowfall was heavier to the east, where several tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles collided on a bridge over the Missouri River near Rocheport. Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott White told The Associated Press at least one person was taken from the scene in an ambulance.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.