In central Georgia, trees and power lines were knocked down, and
several buildings damaged on Friday morning, but no injuries were
reported, a county official said.
The damaging winds came "very, very close" to a private school with
children inside, Laurens County manager Bryan Rogers said.
The storm, called a panhandle hook for its origin in the panhandles
of Oklahoma or Texas and its twisting shape, triggered concerns
about damaging winds and possible tornadoes from parts of South
Carolina through North Carolina, Virginia, southern Maryland and
Delaware, forecasters said.
"There is a pretty extensive line of storms that extends from just
west and southwest of Washington D.C. all the way down to the
Florida panhandle," said Jeremy Grams, a meteorologist with the
Storm Prediction Center.
There were more than three dozen reports on Friday of high winds and
damage in southern Georgia, northern Florida, North Carolina,
Virginia and eastern Kentucky.
Nearly 3,000 flights were delayed around the United States and more
than 700 canceled by about midday Friday, according to
FlightAware.com, which tracks flights.
The same storm system slammed the north-central United States on
Thursday with heavy snow and blizzard conditions in Iowa, Minnesota
and Wisconsin, with severe thunderstorms and several tornado reports
across central Illinois.
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Reports of damaging winds stretched from Indiana south to Louisiana.
In Tennessee, winds ripped up the roof on a high school gymnasium in
Gainesboro, Nashville TV station WKRN said. A wind gust up to 95 mph
damaged trees and roofs in Hendersonville, a Nashville suburb. No
injuries were reported.
The storm dropped up to a foot of snow in parts of Minnesota and
Wisconsin. Motorists were advised to stay off ice and snow covered
roads through much of Minnesota on Friday.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 404 accidents since the storm
hit on Thursday, one fatal. About 58,000 Minnesota and Wisconsin
Xcel Energy customers lost power in the storm. Service was restored
to all but 9,400 by midmorning Friday, Xcel said.
(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis, Tim Ghianni in Nashville,
David Beasley in Georgia, Kim Palmer in Cleveland; editing by Gunna
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