Severe tornado-spawning storms battered the Southeast and Ohio Valley, knocking out power to more than 615,000 homes and businesses across multiple states.
(CNN) — Severe tornado-spawning storms battered the Southeast and Ohio Valley, knocking out power to more than 615,000 homes and businesses across multiple states.
A possible twister damaged dozens of homes in Bargersville, Indiana, on Sunday as thunderstorms moved through the state, threatening hail and damaging winds. As they shifted through the rubble, Bargersville residents were warned to prepare to be without power for the next two days.
Scattered severe thunderstorms are likely across the Mid-Atlantic states Monday, bringing damaging wind gusts and large hail, according to the Weather Prediction Center.
Already, thunderstorms have walloped parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and parts of the Ohio Valley Sunday, knocking out power and leaving behind destruction.
Much of the power outages Sunday night were in Georgia, where more than 150,000 customers were in the dark, according to poweroutage.us.
“We are seeing large amounts of damage across Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. In areas that are the most heavily affected, our team is working to navigate the damage and get the lights back on for customers,” Georgia Power tweeted.
The storms came as more than 50 million people from Arizona to Louisiana on Sunday sweltered under a heat wave that was expected to spread and continue through the beginning of the July 4 holiday week.
The heat alerts include much of Texas as well as parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, according to the National Weather Service.
The extreme heat in Texas contributed to at least two deaths Friday at the remote Big Bend National Park, where temperatures reached 119 degrees.
At least 75 homes near Indianapolis were damaged
In Bargersville, a severe storm cut a path of destruction roughly 3 miles long, Bargersville Fire Chief Eric Funkhouser said.
One of the Bargersville Fire houses “witnessed the tornado going just north of the fire house” around 4:15 pm then reports began rolling in of homes collapsing and damage throughout the area, Funkhouser said.
At least 75 homes were left with moderate to severe damage “from the tornado being on the ground,” Funkhouser said, adding that the storm “took down the apartment complex that was under construction.”
No serious injuries were reported as of Sunday evening, according to the fire chief.
“This is the second tornado to hit Johnson County in the last three months,” Funkhouser said. “It’s amazing to have two tornadoes to come through, that were on the ground for that amount of time in Johnson County and for us to be able to hopefully – once we get through this – find out there were only minor injuries.”
Videos posted on social media showed a funnel-shaped cloud ripping through buildings as debris flew around it. Several houses could later be seen with their roofs ripped off.
“Given the photos and videos that we’ve seen, it’s virtually certain it was a tornado. We will be sending a survey team to make a final determination tomorrow,” National Weather Service Indianapolis Meteorologist Joseph Nield told CNN on Sunday.
Bargersville is about 17 miles south of Indianapolis and is located in Johnson County.
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