WATCH IT: Tornado Rips Through Georgia City; At Least 1 Dead - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WATCH IT: Tornado Rips Through Georgia City; Wild Weather For Rest Of South

NBCNEWS.COM - A violent tornado that ripped through Adairsville, Ga,. on Wednesday killed at least one person and overturned cars, littering Interstate 75 with debris, and forced officials to shut down a 10-mile stretch of the road on Wednesday, the Georgia State Patrol said.

Numerous buildings in nearby Bartow, Ga., some with people inside, were also damaged in the powerful storm, and police have received multiple calls of injuries and trauma, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Eight people went to the hospital with injuries following the storm, officials at Gordon Hospital in Calhoun, Ga., said. The storm also left more than 8,500 power outages statewide, utilities providers said. 

That twister was only one of a handful that touched down in the South and the Midwest Wednesday, as storms throughout the region caused widespread power outages, structural damages and were blamed for at least one death in the region.

The National Weather Service also confirmed another twister touched down in Sardis, Miss., heavily damaging homes in Solsberry, Ind.

Risks from severe winds and rain threatened more than a thousand miles of the country, stretching from Cleveland, Ohio, to New Orleans, The Weather Channel reported. Tornado warnings were issued in areas from central Tennessee and Kentucky to northern and western Georgia and were in effect until Wednesday afternoon.

Tornado watches were also in effect in areas of Mississippi, Ohio and West Virginia. The storms were expected to move east later in the day.

The storms turned deadly when a 47-year-old man in Nashville, Tenn., was killed when a tree fell on a shed he was in, according to local fire department officials.

Meanwhile, in Monticello, Ark., a woman was struck by lightning late Tuesday but only had minor injuries, according to police, and a 32-year-old woman and a 7-year-old boy were treated for minor injuries in Marion County, Ky., the emergency management division reported.

Packing quarter-size hail and powerful winds, the storms also knocked out power to thousands of people throughout the region early Wednesday.

In Memphis, Tenn., more than 13,000 customers lost power as high winds tore down power lines and at least two tornado warnings were issued in the area, according to the National Weather Service.

And more than 7,300 Nashville customers were without power, according to Nashville Electric. Utilities reported another 8,000 outages in Arkansas, 7,000 in Mississippi, and nearly 12,000 in Indiana.

In Arlington, Tenn., downed power lines sparked a fast-spreading grass fire that caused the evacuation of a small mental-health facility, Arlington Fire Department Lt. Chad Wiseman said.

"The wind was pushing everything really fast," Wiseman said, adding that gusts reached 50 mph as the fire was burning. "The wind feeds everything. The wind will turn a little grass fire into something that was shooting 15- or 20-foot flames in the air. It looked pretty scary."

The fire was brought under control within an hour, officials said.

A number of factors have helped build the storm system, according to meteorologists. Unseasonably warm, wet air has been pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico by southerly winds, and that is being met by cold air coming in from the Plains via Canada, The Weather Channel's Chad Burke said, adding that the cold air is being driven eastward by unusually high winds.

"It's not a normal pattern for this time of year," said Burke. "The warm air has changed the dynamic. On the back end of the storm, you have high temperatures in the 50s and 60s in places like Chicago. By tomorrow night, they'll be at 11 (degrees)."

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ADAIRSVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Authorities say the storm that has slammed a Georgia town has killed at least one person there.
    
The massive storm system also has been blamed for the death of a man in Tennessee. He had been taking shelter in a shed when a tree toppled onto it, killing him.
    
Craig Millsap, the fire chief in Georgia's Bartow County, says officials found one person dead in the storm damage. However, he did not have further details about how the person died Wednesday.
    
The storm did major damage in Adairsville, northwest of Atlanta. Cars were overturned on Interstate 75, forcing officials to close the highway in both directions.
    
Thousands were without electricity across the Southeast.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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