published Monday, April 28th, 2014

UPDATE: Heavy storms rumble through Chattanooga area

 
LIVE storm coverage
AP Interactive: Spring tornadoes
SCHOOL STATUS

Tennessee:

Hamilton County Schools and Cleveland City Schools will be on a two-hour delay Tuesday morning because of weather. School Age Child Care will be closed in the morning. Orange Grove Center and Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy are also on a two-hour delay Tuesday.

Due to a chance of severe weather in our area late this afternoon and tonight, all after school activities are canceled. School Age Child Care will close at the regular time this evening. As a precautionary measure, T-Cap testing slated to begin on Tuesday will be delayed until Wednesday. The regular testing schedule will begin on Wednesday.

Georgia:

Chickamauga City Schools, Catoosa, Dade, Walker and Whitfield county schools will be on a two-hour delay Tuesday morning because of weather.

If school is delayed or cancelled for tomorrow we will inform you this evening or in the morning.

TORNADO WATCH until 1 a.m. Eastern

Tennessee:

Hamilton, Bledsoe, Bradley, Coffee, Grundy, Franklin, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Polk, Rhea, Sequatchie and Van Buren counties

Alabama:

DeKalb and Jackson counties

Georgia:

Catoosa, Chatttooga, Gilmer, Fannin, Dade, Murray, Walker and Whitfield counties

TORNADO WARNING:

A tornado warning has been issued for Hamilton County from 9:40 to 10:30 p.m. That warning also applies to southeastern Marion and County west central Bradley County.

North Dade County is under a tornado warning.

The western portion of Cumberland County in Tennessee is under tornado warning.

Parts of Coweta, Heard, Meriwether and Troup counties in Georgia are under a tornado warning that is expected to expire about 7:45 p.m.

What's the difference?

A tornado watch means there is a possibility of tornadoes. A tornado warning means a tornado has already been detected.

SHARE YOUR PHOTOS AND VIDEO

If you see high waters or weather damage,  email your photo and information to webeditor@timesfreepress.com

POWER OUTAGES

Storm cells passing over Chattanooga just after 10 p.m. Monday knocked 2,200 EPB customers offline, though the utility's automatic Smart Grid switching system reduced that number to 126 outages within 30 seconds, said John Pless, public relations coordinator for EPB.

The utility is waiting out the storm with all construction crews and contractors at the ready, along with extra tree crews, Pless said.

IN CASE YOU LOSE POWER

• Download the Times Free Press app to your phone for urgent weather alerts

• Follow @TimesFreePress on Twitter for minute-by-minute details

What to do during a tornado

If you're in a building during a tornado, here are tips from FEMA:

Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

Put on sturdy shoes.

Do not open windows.

A severe thunderstorm swept across Hamilton County on Monday causing widespread damage and leading the National Weather Service to put the area under a tornado warning.

No injuries were reported in the Chattanooga area, but in North Alabama, Limestone County Emergency Director Rita White said the coroner’s office had confirmed two deaths in a twister that caused extensive damage west of the city of Athens.

White says still more victims might be trapped in the wreckage of damaged buildings, but rescuers can’t reach some areas because of downed power lines. Separately, Limestone Commissioner Bill Latimer says he has reports from a worker of at least four deaths in the county.

The warning in Hamilton County expired about 10:30 p.m., but the Chattanooga and North Georgia areas were under a tornado watch until 1 a.m., and National Weather Service officials warned that the area today could see severe thunderstorms heavy rainfall, hail and flash flooding that might linger into Wednesday.

Power outages Monday were concentrated in Soddy-Daisy and Hixson areas, with the majority located in Soddy-Daisy, according to EPB's live data.

In Lakesite, authorities responded to a report of a tree fallen on a house at 10:18 p.m.

A police officer in the area reported to dispatch that power lines were down near that location.

To the north, another tornado warning entered effect for parts of Bledsoe County and Rhea County at 10:23 until 10:45 as the front moved away from area.

Some storm damage and power outages were reported late Monday in Franklin County, Tenn. Emergency management personnel there reported 491 homes without power and some car wrecks. Several other strong thunderstorms also were reported in the area.

Dade County, Ga., dispatchers reported no injuries or major damage after the area was placed under a tornado warning at 9:30 p.m.

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