The Southeast gets hammered by another round of dangerous weather after weekend storms killed dozens of people in the South

A fresh round of violent storms is battering the Southeast on Monday after a spate of tornadoes and treacherous weather over the weekend killed 26 people in the South.

From Houston to South Carolina, more than 20 million people are at risk of severe storms Monday.

“Large hail, damaging wind gusts, and frequent lightning will remain the primary risks throughout the day today but isolated tornadoes could still be possible,” CNN Meteorologist Haley Brink said.

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for parts of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina until 6 p.m. ET Monday, the National Weather Service office in Atlanta said.

There’s also a threat of dangerous flooding throughout the region.

“Due to the repeated rounds of heavy rainfall over the weekend and today, bouts of heavy rainfall could lead to instances of flash flooding across the Southeast,” Brink said.

Parts of the South repeatedly walloped by recent storms have seen 4 to 6 inches of rain over the last few days – and could get deluged with another 1 to 3 inches Monday.

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Atlanta – which had already been pummeled by hail and up to 2 inches of rain overnight – could get another 2 inches of rain – leading to a risk of flooding.

‘Homes have been totally demolished’

The South has suffered an onslaught of destructive weather since the weekend. At least 10 confirmed tornadoes struck Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee on Friday night, according to storm surveys by various weather service offices.

the southeast gets hammered by another round of dangerous weather after weekend storms killed dozens of people in the south

The Southeast gets hammered by another round of dangerous weather after weekend storms killed dozens of people in the South

Storm victims assess the damage Sunday in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, where an EF-4 tornado struck the town over the weekend. – Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

At least 25 people were killed in Mississippi – prompting President Joe Biden to approve a disaster declaration for parts of the state. Another storm victim was killed in Alabama.

In Rolling Fork, Mississippi – home to about 2,000 people – an especially violent tornado obliterated houses, businesses and city buildings.

“Homes have been totally demolished,” Rolling Fork Vice Mayor LaDonna Sias told CNN on Monday. She said her own home was also destroyed.

Sias and her husband survived by hiding in a closet just before the EF-4 tornado shredded their house.

“He pushed me in … his closet, and he was able to close the door,” Sias said. “And the minute he closed the door, the force … he was just constantly trying to hold the door so it wouldn’t come open. And you could literally hear the house ripping apart.”

Despite the loss of her own home, Sias said she’s focused on helping other residents – including those who have lost loved ones.

“The hardest part is having to witness someone that has lost a loved one and then having to talk to people that were residents here but have been displaced due to this disaster,” Sias said. “It’s hard. It’s overwhelming. And it’s heart-wrenching.”

‘It looks like a battle zone’

Search and recovery efforts were still underway in Mississippi on Sunday as emergency personnel also worked to distribute critical resources, including bottled water, portable restrooms, batteries and fuel, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said.

the southeast gets hammered by another round of dangerous weather after weekend storms killed dozens of people in the south
KeUntey Ousley tries to salvage belongings from his mother’s boyfriend’s vehicle as his mother LaShata Ousley and his girlfriend Mikita Davis watch in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. – Barbara Gauntt/The Clarion-Ledger/USA Today/Reuters

Some Rolling Fork neighborhoods and businesses were so badly hit there was “not any immediate shelter anywhere” on Sunday, Sharkey County District 1 Supervisor Bill Newsom told CNN.

“Everyone is affected. Entire subdivisions and neighborhoods … some are just wiped away, they’re just not even there,” Newsom said.

“It looks like a battle zone.”

The vice mayor said she is the most concerned about finding support for the families who have lost loved ones and are facing “total devastation.”

“We need to make sure that those people that are displaced, that no longer have any type of structure – they need immediate housing. They need some kind of assistance,” Sias said.

Teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been deployed to Mississippi, and the agency will work with state officials to find interim housing for those impacted, the Department of Homeland Security said.

the southeast gets hammered by another round of dangerous weather after weekend storms killed dozens of people in the south
Residents survey the damage Sunay in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. – Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Resident David Brown’s parents, Melissa and Lonnie Pierce, were both killed Friday when a tractor-trailer was picked up by the tornado and thrown on top of their home, CNN affiliate WAPT reported.

“Words can’t express how I’m feeling. I don’t know – broken,” Brown told WAPT.

Brown said his son could have been in the home if he had not picked him up before the storm.

His family spent the weekend sifting through the crushed residence, searching for any salvageable reminder of his parents.

“Honestly, if I can find anything in the rubble,” he said, “it would mean more than anything.”

Parts of Georgia are under a flash flood emergency

The National Weather Service in Atlanta has clarified that the Heads Creek Dam in central Georgia has not failed, citing Spalding County emergency management officials.

“There has not been any failure or breach of the Heads Creek Reservoir in Spalding County. We are only experiencing overflow from the excessive rainfall and activating the Emergency Action Plan out of an abundance of precaution,” the weather service office in Atlanta said Monday.

A flash flood emergency is still in place. The weather service said it is coordinating with state and local officials and communicating the potential flood threat in the area.

“Because the Emergency Action Plan was activated, using the word ‘imminent’ and not ‘potential’ failure, the FF Emergency was used,” the weather service said.

Previously the weather service had said a flash flood emergency was in place for areas downstream from Heads Creek Reservoir in western Spalding County after a dam failed, citing a local emergency manager.

More than 100 homes damaged in Georgia

the southeast gets hammered by another round of dangerous weather after weekend storms killed dozens of people in the south
Family members outside their damaged home after a tornado touched down Sunday in West Point, Georgia. – Megan Varner/Getty Images

Another tornado destroyed dozens of homes Sunday in LaGrange, Georgia, Troup County Emergency Management Director Zachary Steele said.

And many as 100 homes were damaged in the western Georgia city.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency order to provide more state resources for affected communities’ recovery.

CNN’s Allison Chinchar, Devon M. Sayers, Michelle Watson and Raja Razek contributed to this report.

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