Tornado Spotted Near Atlanta Airport As Emergency Crews Respond To Wild Weather In Neighboring Alabama

ATL Airport Live NBC 11 Camera

Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Update: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that six people died in the state from the severe storms.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL) International Airport on Thursday after a tornado was seen near the east side of the airport, CNN reported.

Thunderstorms caused flights into ATL to remain delayed Thursday evening, even after the FAA lifted the order to ground flights due to the tornado, according to the National Airspace System (NAS). The NAS reported that the delay affects departures within 1,000 nautical miles of ATL.

Residents of Alabama received a National Weather Service (NWS) warning that they faced severe weather that could be fatal. “This is a life-threatening situation. Take shelter immediately,” the NWS stated, according to Fox News. (RELATED: Southwest Airlines Suffers Big Meltdown, Faces Blame For Nearly All Canceled Flights)

Local resident Lachandra Sturdivant told Fox News she witnessed the tornado that touched down in Selma, Alabama. “We could hear the train — the tornado sounds like a train just roaring through,” Sturdivant said. “It just started ripping trees, roofs off buildings. Stuff was just everywhere.”

Selma experienced downed powerlines and blocked roads, according to Sturdivant. “It’s horrible through here. The power’s off. They’re trying to cut trees out of the roads to open a way for people to get around,” she said.

The NWS also issued a severe thunderstorm warning for counties across Alabama and into Georgia, NBC 11 reported. The Storm Prediction Service (SPS) warned that “severe thunderstorms will continue across portions of the Tennessee Valley and the southeast this afternoon and evening.” The agency predicts that residents will face damaging tornadoes, wind gusts and hail.

There are over 100,000 customers without power in Georgia and almost 50,000 in Alabama, according to

“The main change of significance, however, has been to add a significant tornado area from south-central Alabama into west-central Georgia,” the SPS stated. “Within this corridor, [the] risk for a couple of strong tornadoes — which is ongoing at this time over parts of south-central and eastern Alabama — will continue over the next several hours.”