Communities across the South were on high alert Tuesday as a devastating storm system that left at least 34 people dead threatened to pack a one-two punch on the hardest-hit areas of Alabama and Mississippi.
The storm front killed at least 16 people on Monday when it slammed into parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee and produced more than 50 tornado reports in 24 hours.
A Mississippi coroner, Scott Gregory of Winston County, said he expected the death toll in that state to rise.
The storms spawned twisters, driving rain and scattered hail across swaths of the South and has been blamed for at least 18 deaths over the weekend in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa.
On Tuesday, the areas hit hardest by severe weather “are going to get a repeat performance,” according to The Weather Channel’s chief meteorologist, Kevin Roth. He said the severe storm that kicked off the chain of deadly tornadoes was so slow-moving that it’s “almost stationary.”
Roth warned that eastern Mississippi, eastern Tennessee and “all of Alabama” could be in line for a second hit — putting millions of people at risk.
“It is almost identical areas that are under the gun, two days in a row,” Roth said. “That’s not normally the case.”
Source: NBC News | CASSANDRA VINOGRAD, ALEXANDER SMITH AND ALASTAIR JAMIESON