Published: May 6,2017
Powerful tornado-producing storms swept through the South Thursday night and Friday morning, killing one in Virginia and causing major damage in at least one southeastern Georgia town.
The National Weather Service reported Saturday that a person was killed in Henrico County, Virginia after a tree fell on a vehicle. No further details were reported.
At least five people were injured when a confirmed EF1 tornado damaged several buildings in the town of Garden City, the Savannah Morning News reported. The storm struck at about 6:45 p.m. EDT Thursday evening in the town of some 9,000 residents located 5 miles northwest of Savannah, and an Advance Auto Parts store was destroyed, the report added.
"It's unbelievable, I'm speechless. I've lived over here for several years, and I've never seen anything like this before," Garden City resident Salena Mitchell Rawls told WTOC.com.
(MORE: Where the Storms Could Strike Next)
Residents remarked they didn't hear tornado sirens before the storm hit the town, and the National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning. At the U.S. 80 Truck Stop in Garden City, employee Taral Patel told the Morning News people scattered as the storm tossed debris into the air – including a car that was lifted off the ground.
"Everybody ran into the store," Patel told the Morning News. "I’m just thankful everyone is all right. It was scary. Thankfully, just vehicles and part of the building got smashed."
In all, an estimated 14 structures were damaged across Chatham County by the storm, WTOC also reported. The NWS confirmed the tornado Friday evening.
In Dekalb county, the NWS determined that a brief EF0 tornado touched down Thursday night.
"The tornado first formed near Forest Glen Circle where it broke numerous large branches and uprooted a few trees," reports the NWS. "The tornado continued to the northeast where it crossed Interstate 285 causing additional tree damage along North Decatur Road and Greenridge Circle. The tornado lifted shortly after crossing Greenridge Circle."
Tornado Spotted Near World's Busiest AirportAtlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport also saw storms Thursday evening – one of which spawned an EF0 tornado near the hub.
The weather service said the twister picked up eight to 10 cargo bins weighing up to 500 pounds and tossed several onto a nearby roof.
Minor damage was reported near one of the airport's cargo facilities immediately following the storms, WXIA-TV reported, but nobody was injured in the incident. The 50-yard-wide tornado was in progress for 200 yards and had estimated maximum wind speeds of 85 mph, according to the NWS.
(MORE: Texas Hit by Second U.S. EF4 Tornado of 2017)
As an earlier round of storms hit metro Atlanta, one man in DeKalb County was trapped inside his vehicle by a falling tree, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was hospitalized and remains in critical condition, the report added.
Damage Reported in South Carolina LowcountryFriday the National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes touched down in South Carolina Thursday evening: an EF1 tornado in the Holly Hill area of Orangeburg County and an EF0 tornado near Patrick in Chesterfield County.
Severe weather damage was reported in the towns of Walterboro and Holly Hill by the tornadoes, according to WCSC-TV. At least one home and one vehicle were heavily damaged by falling trees in separate incidents in those areas as the storms rolled through, the Post and Courier reported.
No injuries were reported from those storms, the report added.
Buildings Damaged in North Carolina TownShortly after 3 a.m. EDT Friday morning, officials reported a tornado in the North Carolina town of Eden, not far from the Virginia border northeast of Greensboro. The storm left homes and businesses damaged along several roads in the town, according to WFMY-TV. The tornado was confirmed as an EF1, the NWS said, and packed winds as high as 110 mph.
One business sustained severe damage, and several vehicles were caught underneath the debris as the walls were blown off the building, WGHP-TV reported. No injuries were reported in Eden.
North of Raleigh, the NWS confirmed an EF1 tornado was in progress near Oxford just before 5:30 a.m. Friday morning. The twister had maximum winds of 95 mph and was in progress for one minute, the damage survey revealed. An EF0 was confirmed near Rockyhock, located in far northeastern North Carolina.
A few school districts delayed classes Friday morning because of the storms, the Associated Press said.
Some 17,000 homes and businesses lost power across the state Friday morning, according to Duke Energy.
Tornado Touches Down in VirginiaAn EF1 tornado touched down outside of McKinney in Dinwiddie County at 6:51 a.m. Friday, reports the National Weather Service.
The storm downed trees, shattered windows and damaged buildings in the county.
NWS crews surveyed the area Friday afternoon and found damage consistent with an EF1 tornado, as well as damage caused by straight-line winds. No injuries were reported.
Similar damage was reported in surrounding counties and in parts of Hampton Roads.
MORE: Tornadoes in the Midwest
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.