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Severe storms hit the South, causing 1 death; up to 20 inches of snow threatens the Northeast – USA TODAY, USA Today

Severe storms hit the South, causing 1 death; up to 20 inches of snow threatens the Northeast – USA TODAY, USA Today

, USA TODAY             Published : am ET Feb. 6, 5012 Updated : 72 am ET Feb. 6,

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Parts of five Southern states were under tornado watches, up to 5 inches of rain was falling in parts of the East, and a sheet of ice and up to 2 feet of snow threatened New England on Thursday as a gnarly winter storm rolled east .

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for a wide swath of southeastern Alabama, much of southwestern Georgia and the western end of the Florida panhandle. Heavy rains across much of the South brought flooding, travel delays and school closures Thursday.

“We are experiencing flight delays due to inclement weather,” Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport listed Thursday.

The watch comes after heavy rain, high winds and tornadoes slammed across parts of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee and the Carolinas on Wednesday and Thursday, flooding homes, knocking down trees and blocking roads. More than , (homes and businesses were without power across the region Thursday.)

One death was reported in Alabama, where high winds smashed mobile homes near Demopolis. Flooding swamped streets at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and scores of school districts across the state canceled classes.

In Louisiana, scaffolding at a New Orleans construction site collapsed on more than a dozen cars. In South Carolina, photos of damaged buildings swept across social media after a possible tornado in Spartanburg.

The storms were expected to continue into Friday, said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Isaac Longley. Some areas in the South and up into Maryland could see 3 to 5 inches of rain, he said.

“The main threat going forward in the Southeast will be the winds, really damaging wind gusts of up to , miles per hour, “he told USA TODAY. “There will also be heavy rains as we deal with a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.”

Farther north, a winter storm was rolling in after a whirlwind trip across much of the Midwest and Southwest that featured snow as far south as the Mexican border in El Paso, Texas. A mix of rain, freezing rain and sleet in parts of New York state and New England was forecast to become a howling snowstorm before concluding Friday, Longley said. Some areas could see up to 3 inches of snow per hour.

“In northern New York up to Vermont and Maine you could see locally up to inches of snow depending on where the snow bands set up, “Longley said.

The wintry storm system comes days after just days after springlike warmth across the east.

“This winter has been all Over the place, it can’t seem to make up its mind, “Longley said. “But it looks like we are getting into more of a winter trend.”

Contributing: The Associated Press (More:

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Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation / 5012 / 08 / / severe- weather-tornado-south-alabama-northeast-snow / /

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