Wind and rain are pummeling wide swaths of the Southeastern U.S. and Mid-Atlantic states. More than 25 million people from Louisiana to Virginia were facing a slight risk of severe weather threats Friday like wind damage, flash floods and possible tornadoes.
If you're in the affected areas, it's time to duck and cover with batteries, blankets, and bottles of water. Everybody else: Take a look at some of the thrashing from the weather that your neighbors in the South have endured.
1. Whistling winds in Warner Robins, Georgia. Amateur storm chaser Mike Musiowski captured an Instagram video in Warner Robins. The whole area was hit. Several rooftops were damaged and power lines were down after straight-line winds ripped through the nearby Robins Air Force Base. No injuries were reported, but the airfield was temporarily closed because of storm debris, according to a news release from the base. Musiowski offered this advice in his caption: "What you cannot see, you cannot chase." He had to take shelter.
2. Free delivery included with shed. Alline Kent snapped a photo in her own yard after the storm swept through Warner Robins, adding the caption, "Got a new shed. Literally was dropped into the yard." Kent said sirens began to wail around 7:45 a.m., and she took shelter in a hallway. She estimated the storm lasted 10 minutes, and said a few nearby houses were badly damaged.
3. It's not over yet. The Warner Robins Police Department put out a menacing radar image just after noon. The post warned residents of a second round of severe storms bearing down on the area, strong enough to potentially leave high water on roads and knock out power. Police are urging people to stay off the roads.
4. Traffic slows to a swim. A swim, a crawl: either way, the morning commute moved at the pace of a dinosaur in Metairie, Louisiana.
5. But seriously, if it's more than a puddle, don't drive into it. We like the running commentary of @mrhaiti509: He would like the world to know he did not, in fact, drive into the water. Flash-flood watches extend over much of the Southeast on Friday, leaving more than 10 million people vulnerable in cities like New Orleans; Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama; and Tallahassee, Florida.
According to the National Weather Service, it takes a mere 12 inches of water
to sweep away a small car. Double that rainfall, and your SUV is gone, too. We repeat: Do not drive into that water.
6. A sigh of relief for the Karmann Ghia. And a shriek for that poor Toyota behind it. Warner Robins Police Chief Brett Evans snapped a photo of two vehicles that were in the storm's path.
7. "We're in the freezer, y'all." The ubiquitous restaurant chain Cracker Barrel boasts that you can find a store near highways all across America. That was a particularly good thing for Niki Tilley and her friends, who tweeted their heartfelt thanks to the Warner Robins Cracker Barrel for allowing them to take shelter in the location's freezer while a tornado passed.
8. #tornadolife. Zachary Potts and his girlfriend, Allison Lefor, were celebrating his 30th birthday with a beer when they had to grab their dogs and take shelter ... in the bathtub. They took this cozy photo and captioned it, "The Norse God Thor is a party animal. He brought a tornado with him." (We'll give honorable mentions to Buddha and Ellie, the pups, for being party animals, too.)