YAZOO CITY, Miss. -- Severe storms spawning multiple tornadoes moved across the South on Monday, damaging homes and uprooting trees from Mississippi to Kentucky. A tornado spotted in Atlanta forced thousands to seek shelter and one man was killed when a falling tree brought power lines onto his vehicle.
The motorist was pronounced dead after fire crews cut him from the vehicle in Douglasville, Ga., Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin told reporters. And in middle Georgia, 55-year-old Carla Harris was killed after a tree fell onto her Bonaire home, Houston County emergency officials said.
The weather first turned rough in Mississippi on Sunday.
A line of severe storms rolled through the state in afternoon and into the nighttime hours. Late Sunday, a "tornado emergency" was declared for Tupelo and surrounding areas.
Photos retweeted by the National Weather Service in Memphis showed several downed trees and power lines. Tupelo Middle School sustained some damage, as well as houses and businesses.
There were multiple reports of damage to homes on Elvis Presley Drive, just down the street from the home where the famed singer was born.
Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan said Calhoun City also "was hit hard."
"Light poles have been snapped off. Trees in a few homes. Trees on vehicles. Damage to several businesses. Fortunately we have had no reports at this time of injuries," Pollan posted on Facebook, asking people to stay off the roads. "Emergency personnel are working feverishly to open the roads as quickly as possible."
News outlets also reported tornados near Yazoo City, Byram and Tchula, Miss., earlier Sunday.
As the system moved east, storms damaged homes in a Kentucky town early Monday and a tornado watch for much of the day covered large parts of Alabama and Georgia.
In South Carolina, at least one tornado was reported Monday afternoon in Abbeville County. The tornado appeared to be on the ground for several miles, according to warnings from the National Weather Service. No injuries were immediately reported, but officials said they were checking on the path of the storm.
In the southern Kentucky town of Tompkinsville, a severe storm Monday morning damaged several homes and knocked down trees and power lines, Fire Chief Kevin Jones said. No injuries were reported, he said.
At one point Monday, a tornado warning prompted residents of Atlanta to seek shelter.
Firefighters responded to multiple calls of trees down, Atlanta Fire Rescue said in a statement late Monday morning. The agency was not aware of any significant injuries, but asked residents to be on guard as falling trees and limbs still posed a threat.
Georgia Power reported about 3,000 outages in the southwest part of the city. GreyStone Power reported more than 3,000 outages in Douglas and southern Fulton counties.
A warm, moist air mass was in place as an upper-level disturbance moved across the area, touching off the storms over Mississippi, said Mike Edmonston, National Weather Service meteorologist.
Three survey teams from the weather service were preparing to assess the damage in Mississippi, he said. More storms are in store for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia today, forecasters said.
Today's storms could bring wind gusts of up to 70 mph and hail to the size of golf balls, forecasters said, noting that "tornadoes are likely Tuesday into Tuesday evening" in parts of Mississippi.
Information for this article was contributed by Jeff Martin, Jeff Amy, Becky Yonker and Julie Walker of The Associated Press.