Big storms to hit Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee; Tornadoes strike Okla. – USA TODAY
National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Jankowski says a tornado touched down and lifted up numerous times Wednesday night in the Tulsa and Owasso areas. (March 31)
More storms are expected Thursday, afterÂ severe storms in northeastern Oklahoma spawned vicious tornadoes that injured at least seven people and left a trail of damaged homes and businesses on Wednesday.
The storms, which produced severe weather in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and western Mississippi and western Tennessee on Wednesday night, pushedÂ eastward Thursday and were forecast to produceÂ severe weather inÂ northern Mississippi, northern Alabama and western Tennessee.
Almost the entire states of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia were under flash flood watches as of Thursday morning.
Forecasters saidÂ multipleÂ strong to severe thunderstorms will produce 2 to 4 inches of rain, and perhaps 6 inches in some areas.Â Strong storms were expected to develop early Thursday over Alabama, where forecasters say the main threats will be tornadoes, winds of up to 70 mph, quarter-sized hail and heavy rains.
In Georgia, forecasters said more than 4 inches of rain could fall in western parts of the state.
Late Wednesday, the National Weather Service’sÂ Storm Prediction recordedÂ six reports of tornadoes in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas.
NWSÂ meteorologist Amy Jankowski said a tornado touched down and lifted up numerous times as it swept through the northern Tulsa and Owasso areas in OklahomaÂ Wednesday nightÂ .
Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Stan May said about one square mile of a mostly residential area sustained damage, and that there were no immediate reports of anyone missing. At least one home was destroyed.
Police and fire officials wentÂ door to door in the area to make sure everyone was accounted for.
Luke Lau, who lives in Stone Canyon, near Tulsa, Okla.,Â told the Tulsa World: âI was in the backyard taking pictures. We went inside and got in our safe room. It was pretty fast and pretty loud. In 30 seconds, it was over.â
âIt sounded like a train blowing its horn,â he added. âI came out when I could hear the TV (over the sound of the tornado). I went across the street because my neighbor had his front door blown off.â
At least seven people were injured after severe storms spawned multiple tornado touchdowns in northeastern Oklahoma, damaging homes and businesses, authorities said.
Kelli Bruer, a spokeswoman for Emergency Medical Services Authority, an ambulance service provider, said at least seven people were injured. She said one was in a critical condition and several were in a serious condition.
Nearly 5,000 Public Service Company of Oklahoma customers lost power after the storm, but the firmÂ said service wasÂ restored to all but about 1,000 early Thursday morning.
Contributing: Associated Press,Â WXIA-TV Atlanta