Tornadoes, Wind Leave 1 Million+ Power Outages; More Than 10 Dead In Severe Weather
By Ron Brackett and Jan Wesner Childs
March 04, 2023
At a Glance
- More than 10 deaths are being connected to severe weather in the South and Great Lakes.
- Hundreds of thousands of power outages were reported in Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.
- Trees smashed cars and damaged homes in Nashville.
- Flooding was reported in Kentucky and Indiana.
- The storms started Thursday in Texas.
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According to the Associated Press, as many as 10 people were killed as severe weather including tornadoes, flooding and high winds marched across more than a dozen states from Thursday night into Friday evening.
One other person has died in Michigan where the storm's precipitation had switched from rain to snow.
One death is being blamed on flooding in Scott County in western Arkansas, according to the sheriff's office there. Three people in Alabama and two people in Tennessee were killed by falling trees, the Associated Press reported. In Mississippi, one death was confirmed by Gov. Tate Reeves. The Associated Press also reported that three people in Kentucky from three different counties died.
A Michigan man is dead after being struck by a snowplow, MLive.com reported.
Homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed and more than a million were left without power as the storms moved from Texas and spread north into Michigan and Pennsylvania and east to the Atlantic coast.
Here are our updates from Friday.
(6:23 p.m. ET) Dozens of Homes Damaged In MississippiAt least 39 homes are damaged in Mississippi, according to the state Emergency Management Agency. Counties affected include Oktibbeha, Panola, Pontotoc and Yazoo.
Other buildings and facilities damaged include Itawamba Community College in Fulton and an apartment complex in Monroe County.
(6:12 p.m. ET) 1.1 Million Power Outages In More Than A Dozen StatesThere are more than 1.1 million power outages stretching from Texas up to Pennsylvania, according to PowerOutage.us. States most impacted include Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Indiana and Michigan.
A tree rests on two cars, one with its windshield and roof smashed, after high winds moved through Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday, March 3, 2023.
(JCweather14 via Twitter)
(5:57 p.m. ET) Flooding, Falling Trees Blamed in DeathsA man who died in Arkansas was found about 8 a.m. Friday after floodwaters receded in the Poteau River in Scott County. He had been reported missing earlier this morning. As the water went down, a passerby spotted the top of a pickup truck. The man's body was found nearby. Authorities think his vehicle was swept off the road into the river, according to a news release from the Scott County Sheriff's Office.
More details have also been released on the death in Mississippi. The state Emergency Management Agency says the victim was killed when a tree fell on a vehicle in Yazoo County. The death in Talladega County, Alabama, was also blamed on a tree that fell on a vehicle.
(3:36 p.m. ET) Nearly 750,000 Power OutagesPower outage numbers are hovering around 750,000 across multiple states, according to PowerOutage.us. Top states for outages include Tennessee with more than 293,000; Alabama with about 150,000; Kentucky with 111,000.
Widespread outages are also being reported in Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Georgia and North Carolina.
(3:24 p.m. ET) Wind Gusts Top 75 MPH In TennesseeHere's a look at some of the top wind gusts recorded so far in Tennessee, according to the National Weather Service: Clarksville Outlaw Field, 79 mph; Springfield Airport, 74 mph; Columbia Airport, 68 mph; Fort Campbell, 63 mph; Nashville International Airport, 62.
(1:55 p.m. ET) Possible Tornado Damage In Western KentuckyPhotos shared by local media show a building with its roof ripped off in McCracken County, where the city of Paducah is located. WPSD-TV is citing "some significant damage reported to many homes and churches in the neighborhood."
(1:42 p.m. ET) Residents In Birmingham Asked To Avoid Travel"Please avoid travel until the line of storms pushes through our area. We have received multiple reports of downed trees in the areas the storms have passed through," Jefferson County, Alabama, Emergency Management says. "Please stay indoors until these storms pass."
(1:31 p.m. ET) 370,000+ Power Outages Across SouthMore than 370,000 power outages are being counted across seven states impacted by the severe weather, according to PowerOutage.us. The highest outage numbers are: about 120,000 in Tennessee; more than 112,000 in Alabama; about 61,000 in Texas. Other states reporting large numbers of outages include Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky.
(1:24 p.m. ET) Tree Falls On House In NashvilleNashville Fire Department crews responded to at least one call of a structural collapse so far today. Residents were inside when a tree fell on a house. There were no injuries, according to a tweet from the fire department.
A tree fell on a home in Nashville during severe weather on Friday, March 3, 2023.
(Nashville Fire Department via Twitter)
(1:08 p.m. ET) Streets Closed Due To Flooding In Indiana-Kentucky-Illinois Tri-State AreaAdvertisement
Several roads are blocked by flooding in the greater Evansville area near the Kentucky-Indiana border. That includes highways in Union and Hancock counties in Kentucky and Vanderburgh County in Indiana, according to WEHT-TV.
(12:42 p.m. ET) At Least One Death Connected To Severe Weather"Severe weather hit Mississippi last night. As of now, there has been one fatality reported," Gov. Tate Reeves tweeted.
Reeves didn't give further details, but there are several reports from across the state of high winds knocking down power lines and trees. At least two houses were damaged with people inside, according to incidents tracked by the National Weather Service.
(9:28 a.m. ET) Daylight Views Of Damage in ArkansasWe're getting our first look at the damage near Kirby in Pike County, Arkansas. Some minor injuries were reported after a storm passed through the community about 10:50 p.m. CT, according to KARK.
(9:20 a.m. ET) Residents Warned Of River FloodingPolice in Hardy, Arkansas, about 117 miles northeast of Little Rock, have warned residents living along the Spring River to evacuate.
The Spring River rose swiftly overnight after heavy rains and was expected to reach moderate flood stage.
Hardy Police Chief Scott Rose told KAIT several roads in the area were impassable.
(6:52 a.m. ET) Nashville Area Schools ClosedBecause of the threat of severe weather, most Nashville-area schools are closed for the day, including in Putnam County, where 19 people died in a EF4 tornado that struck in the early hours of March 3, 2020.
Tennessee was hit by 10 nighttime tornadoes from late March 2 into the early morning of March 3 that year. In addition to the deaths in Putnam County, one person was killed by an EF2 tornado in Benton County and five additional lives were lost when an EF3-rated tornado tracked 60 miles from Nashville to areas east of there in Wilson and Smith counties.
(6:45 a.m. ET) Roof Ripped Off Apartment BuildingNearly two dozen people were displaced when a storm ripped the roof off an apartment building in Hurst, north of Fort Worth, Texas.
"At first, we were sitting out back, and you could see it coming in. It got windy. Out of nowhere, it hit. And the whole building started shaking," Michael Roberts, who lives at the Hunter Chase apartments told KDFW. "Then we realized it’s the roof of the whole building upstairs, and you hear the water dripping. It got crazy. Almost picked up the truck out back. It’s dripping all over the place. Water coming down the walls. It’s pretty bad. Luckily. no one upstairs got hurt."
(6:38 a.m. ET) NWS Sending Out Survey TeamsThe National Weather Service office in Shreveport, Louisiana, says it will be investigating possible tornado damage in six areas on Friday.
They are Franklin County into southern Red River County near Hagansport, Texas; Harrison County to Marion County northwest of Jefferson and Kellyville, Texas, and also south of there; McCurtain County, Oklahoma; near Shreveport in Caddo Parish, Louisiana; and a swath from Marion and Cass counties in Texas to Miller County in Arkansas.
Hail Halts Basketball Game in AlamodomeThe Texas Class 5A girls basketball state semifinal had to stop Thursday night when hail began falling through the roof of the Alamodome in San Antonio.
“Shortly after 8 p.m., a fast-moving severe thunderstorm over downtown San Antonio produced strong wind gusts that drove small hail and rain sideways through the exhaust fan vents on the Alamodome roof," Patricia Muzquiz Cantor, director of Convention & Sports Facilities for the City of San Antonio, said in a statement. "The falling precipitation caused a brief delay in the UIL Girls State Basketball Tournament. Play was able to continue after crews cleaned and dried the playing surface. The Alamodome roof will be evaluated for any hail damage Friday morning.”
Residents Warned: Water May Run OutOfficials in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, warned residents that the power outages caused by the storms were threatening the city's water supply.
"The City of Richardson is experiencing a critical water shortage due to a power outage and loss of backup power services to its North Side and West Side Water Pumping Stations," said a statement from the city.
The statement said the city has water in its storage facilities, but it warned that the water would run out if all customers "do not immediately cease use of water, except for emergency needs only."
Homes Damaged In ArkansasOfficials in Pike County, Arkansas, reported that 20 to 30 homes were damaged near Kirby, about 85 miles southwest of Little Rock, according to the National Weather Service.
MORE HERE: https://weather.com/news/news/2023-03-03-severe-weather-tornado-impacts-texas-arkansas-louisiana-tennessee-kentucky