COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A line of strong to severe thunderstorms hit the Valley on Sunday morning leaving debris, downed power lines, and multiple damaged buildings in its wake.
Thankfully, no injuries have been reported yet. Stay with News Leader Nine for the latest updates as recovery efforts begin.
Some of the hardest hit areas nearby included midtown Columbus and Phenix City which experienced heavy rain and wind gusts of over 70 mph.
The powerful winds damaged many trees, power lines, and structures all across the valley. Debris and flooding caused additional road closures and detours.
Tallapoosa County in Alabama had over 850 reports of power outages while Barbour County had another 742 reports. In Columbus, downed power lines have resulted in another 630 reports of power outages.
Take a look at some of the damage we’ve seen so far:
The severe weather threats began around 6:00 AM and lasted until around 1:00 PM when the storms passed east out of our area.
It brought with is heavy rains and gusts of wind at speeds of over 70 mph. As of now, no tornadoes had a confirmed touchdown in our area.
The National Weather Service’s first survey on Monday confirmed an EF0 tornado touched down in our area. initial estimates say it might’ve been a couple of hundred feet wide.
Officials say the touchdown started just barely across the county line of Muscogee and then moved across southeastern Harris county before ending in western Talbot county- making the total touchdown distance almost 8 miles.
Some of the hardest hit areas nearby included midtown Columbus and Phenix City, although nearly every county in the area experienced some sort of severe weather warning or watch over the course of the morning.
- 12:10 AM (EST) - Fallen trees and/or power lines have been reported on Fulton Road in Upatoi, County Line Road and Mckee in Ellerslie and near midtown Columbus.
- 12:04 AM (EST) - Significant damage has been reported at the Phenix City Waste Water Plant.
- 12:01 AM (EST) - All immediate areas have been cleared of tornado warnings as the severe weather passes, although some thunderstorm warnings remain in place for eastern counties including Randolph, Lee, Calhoun, and Terrell.
- 11:50 AM (EST) - A tornado touchdown has been confirmed east of us near Macon.
- 11:31 AM (EST) - New tornado warnings issued for Clay, Randolph, Clay, Early, and Terrell counties in Georgia until 11:45 AM.
- 11:22 AM (EST) - Severe weather threats winding down in the Chattahoochee Valley as storms move east of the area. All watches and warnings in East Alabama have been cleared.
- 11:14 AM (EST) - 855 reports of power outages in Tallapoosa County in Alabama. 742 reports of power outages in Barbour County in Alabama.
- 11:10 AM (EST) - Over 630 reports of power outages in Columbus so far.
- 10:58 AM (EST) - Tornado warning Talbot and Upson Counties in Georgia until 11:45 AM.
- 10:39 AM (EST) - Reports of debris in roads, downed power lines, and down trees around Columbus area.
- 10: 30 AM (EST) - Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Talbot and Meriwether counties in Georgia until 11:15 AM.
- 10:25 AM (EST) - Most threats cleared in east Alabama as storms pass.
- 10:10 AM (EST) - Tornado Watch issued for Randolph, Early, Clay, Terrell, Cook, Quitman, Lee, Dougherty, and Worth, counties in Georgia. The watch remains valid until 4:00 PM.
- 10:00 AM (EST) - Severe thunderstorms begin to hit Columbus. Winds recorded at speeds of up to 70 mph.
- 9:35 AM (EST) - Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Chattahoochee, Harris, and Muscogee counties in Georgia until 11:15 AM.
- 9:05 AM (EST) - Tornado Warning issued for southern Russell County in Alabama.
- 8:50 AM (EST) - Tornado Warning issued for Bullock and Barbour Counties in Alabama.
- 8:25 AM (EST) - Tornado Watch issued for Troup, Meriwether, Upson, Harris, Talbot, Taylor, Taylor, Muscogee, Marion, Schley, Chattahoochee, Sumter, Webster, Stewart, Dooly, and Crisp counties in Georgia. The watch remains valid until 2:00 PM.
- 8:25 AM (EST) - Structural damage reported in Troy, Alabama.
- 8:00 AM (EST) - Tornado Warning issued for Bullock and Pike Counties in Alabama.
- 6:00 AM (EST) - Tornado Watch issued for Randolph, Tallapoosa, Lee, Macon, Bullock, Barbour, and Russell counties in Alabama. The watch remains valid until 9:00 AM.
Here’s a look at when the storms will be in your area:
For a full list of weather watches and warnings in our area, check here.
While we all hope for the best it is important to prepare for dangerous situations.
Experts say it is best to develop an emergency plan for your family. Having a set meeting place and an indoor safe space can help make sure everyone is accounted for and uninjured in the chaos of severe weather.
They also say to make sure you have a basic emergency kit ready to go. Each kit should include water, food, batteries, a flashlight, and a weather radio.
A number of local places also opened their doors to provide a safer shelter to those with vulnerable housing. You can find a list of those shelters here.
Following the deadly March 3rd tornadoes, many residents were especially cautious this time around. Shelters say they had hundreds of citizens pack in and many say that although these storms weren’t as bad, they’re still glad they took the extra precaution.
Out of an abundance of caution for the severe weather threats, many community leaders and pastors have decided to cancel Palm Sunday worship services this morning. Check here for a full list of closures.