The United States is seen in a composite image taken from the NOAA GOES satellite. REUTERS/NOAA
A powerful storm that blasted the north central United States
with heavy, wet snow and damaging tornadoes has pushed
onward, threatening more twisters, severe thunderstorms and
high winds in the southeastern states, forecasters said.
In central Georgia, trees and power lines were knocked down,
and several buildings damaged on Friday morning (local time),
but no injuries were reported, a county official said.
The damaging winds came "very, very close" to a private
school with children inside, Laurens County manager Bryan
The storm, called a panhandle hook for its origin in the
panhandles of Oklahoma or Texas and its twisting shape,
triggered concerns about damaging winds and possible
tornadoes from parts of South Carolina through North
Carolina, Virginia, southern Maryland and Delaware,
"There is a pretty extensive line of storms that extends from
just west and southwest of Washington D.C. all the way down
to the Florida panhandle," said Jeremy Grams, a meteorologist
with the Storm Prediction Center.
There were more than three dozen reports on Friday of high
winds and damage in southern Georgia, northern Florida, North
Carolina, Virginia and eastern Kentucky.
Nearly 3,000 flights were delayed around the United States
and more than 700 canceled by about midday Friday, according
to FlightAware.com, which tracks flights.
The same storm system slammed the north central United States
on Thursday with heavy snow and blizzard conditions in Iowa,
Minnesota and Wisconsin, with severe thunderstorms and
several tornado reports across central Illinois.
Reports of damaging winds stretched from Indiana south to
In Tennessee, winds ripped up the roof on a high school
gymnasium in Gainesboro, Nashville TV station WKRN said. A
wind gust up to 95 mph damaged trees and roofs in
Hendersonville, a Nashville suburb. No injuries were
The storm dropped up to a foot of snow in parts of Minnesota
and Wisconsin. Motorists were advised to stay off ice and
snow covered roads through much of Minnesota on Friday.