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Woman killed in Georgia as damaging storms strike state

More severe weather is expected Wednesday.

PEMBROKE, Ga. — A woman died Tuesday evening in Pembroke, Georgia, where a suspected tornado ripped part of the roof from the Bryan County courthouse, destroyed the entrance to a local government building across the street and damaged homes in nearby neighborhoods, said Matthew Kent, a county government spokesman.

Kent said several others were injured in the county 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Savannah. He said the death occurred in one of the damaged neighborhoods, but had no further details.

In southeast Georgia, Gage Moore, 23, was driving home from work Tuesday evening on Interstate 16 in the county where Pembroke is located when his fiancée called saying she heard tornado sirens. About two minutes later, Moore said, he looked up to see a towering twister looming to the left of the highway.

Moore said he pulled over and stopped his car behind an overpass, then took cellphone video of the funnel cloud churning across the interstate.

“Everybody started slamming on brakes all around me,” Moore said. “I could actually feel my truck shaking back and forth and hear the roar of it passing by.” He added: “Thankfully we all stopped and left a huge gap in the interstate where it crossed.”

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Afterward, Moore continued his commute home. He said he could tell where the twister crossed the highway because of the mangled exit sign and damaged trees left behind. “Some were bent and some were broken,” Moore said, “the tops were broken out of them.”

As storms pushed into Georgia, a large tree fell and crashed through the roof of Marie Jordan's home in metro Atlanta, coming down in the living room, kitchen and garage.

“It just took everything,” Jordan said. “For years and years, I have watched that tree."

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The threat of damaging weather continues on Wednesday, forecasters said, with severe storms possible across an area stretching from western Alabama to the western tip of the Carolinas. More than 10 million people in metro areas including Atlanta; Birmingham; and Chattanooga, Tennessee, will be at risk, the Storm Prediction Center said.

The Storm Prediction Center is keeping the level 3 threat, but this time for all of north Georgia. Storms could produce gusty winds, hail, and isolated tornadoes.

For the metro Atlanta area, the main severe weather threat will come Wednesday evening associated with a cold front. These storms will be moving from the northwest down to the southeast through the overnight. 

Springtime often brings strong storms to the Southeast. The region has faced a barrage of weather recently that included a tornado last month in metro New Orleans, where one person died, and storms that killed at least two people in the Florida Panhandle last week.