Tornadoes that leveled parts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi on Wednesday will linger over the South on Thursday and begin heading toward the Carolinas, Georgia and a sliver of Virginia, officials warned.
Thunderstorms, tornadoes and hail were expected to lash east-central Georgia, northeastern South Carolina, southern North Carolina and extreme southeast Virginia, according to the National Weather Service.
“All severe hazards are possible” the Weather Service said. Twenty-six million people were at risk.
Severe thunderstorms were also possible in the eastern Gulf Coast into the southern and central Appalachians.
3/18 4:52 AM CDT: Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected today from parts of eastern GA through the Carolinas into extreme southeast VA. All severe hazards are possible. Other isolated severe storms are possible from southern OH to the central Appalachians. #gawx #ncwx #scwx pic.twitter.com/DyElGu1tow
— NWS Storm Prediction Center (@NWSSPC) March 18, 2021
NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins said eastern North Carolina and South Carolina were at the greatest risk Thursday.
“I doubt we will have as many tornadoes today as yesterday, but all it takes is one into a town or city for a disaster,” he said.
In an advisory, the Weather Service encouraged people to “review your severe weather safety procedures for the possibility of dangerous weather today. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, move to a place of safety, ideally in a basement or interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building.”
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SOURCE: NBC News, Elisha Fieldstadt; The Associated Press