Storm System Threatens Eastern United States


A severe storm system that raked the Deep South with tornadoes and heavy rain set its sights on much of the Eastern Seaboard on Wednesday.

Severe thunderstorms are possible from the Florida panhandle to Maryland, with the possibility of flash flooding forecast from northern Georgia into Vermont and New Hampshire, according to the National Weather Service.

The system slammed into metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, Tuesday, damaging dozens of homes and snarling the afternoon commute.

At least 56 homes and one business in suburban Gwinnett County, Georgia, were damaged by a possible tornado, police there said. Twelve of the residences suffered major damage.

There were no reported injuries.

Video showed damaged roofs and trees in northern Gwinnett County, about 35 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. The National Weather Service did not have a warning for the neighborhood where the damage occurred. One home was missing an exterior wall, according to CNN Atlanta affiliate WSB. The siding and insulation from the home were woven into a toppled tree about 50 yards away.

"I was on my way home from work and the parents were calling us to see if the kids were OK. I knew a tornado hit at Gravel Springs [Road]; I didn't know it was going to be our house," resident Erin Birdsong told WSB.

Damage also was reported nearby in the city of Buford, according to the weather service. It was not immediately clear whether that damage was from straight-line winds or a tornado.

Tornadoes during this time of year can be particularly dangerous because they are fast-moving and obscured by rain and darkness, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris.