The Latest: Tampa airport: dozens of delays from storms

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on storms and damage across the Southeast (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration placed a ground stop at Tampa International Airport for a time Tuesday afternoon because of storms sweeping the Southeast.

The bad weather caused dozens of delays and cancellations. But by 3:45 p.m., flights again taking off. But the weather caused dozens of delays and cancellations. The Tampa airport authorities tweeted that 124 flights were delayed and four were cancelled due to weather.

Meanwhile, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which spans Tampa Bay, had to be closed because of high winds, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

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8 a.m.

Forecasters say a storm system that battered Alabama and Georgia will threaten a large part of the Florida and coastal communities in Georgia and the Carolinas.

The national Storm Prediction Center says much of north Florida and the entire Georgia and South Carolina coasts will be at an “enhanced” risk for severe storms, which could include damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes.

A small part of the North Carolina coastline is also included in the area most likely to see severe weather.

The area most at risk is heavily populated, with more than 10 million people and major Florida cities such as Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina.

Forecasters said storms could strike some communities Tuesday morning, and others Tuesday afternoon and evening.

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7:30 a.m.

Thousands of Georgians are without power and homes were heavily damaged southwest of Atlanta after storms struck late Monday and into Tuesday morning.

The National Weather Service said it would send survey crews to the Georgia city of Haralson and to south Fulton County to investigate whether tornadoes caused the damage.

In Haralson, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southwest of Atlanta, the Haralson County School District said schools would be closed Tuesday due to storm damage “throughout our community.”

Much of the damage in Fulton County was in Fairburn, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Atlanta.

Georgia Power reported that about 8,000 customers were without power Tuesday morning statewide, with more than 2,000 of them in the Haralson area. Separately, Georgia’s electric cooperatives said power was interrupted for 13,000 customers.

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6:45 a.m.

The National Weather Service says crews are assessing storm damage across Alabama following a night of violent weather.

The weather service office in Birmingham tweets that two teams were out Tuesday morning surveying damage in eastern Alabama including Jacksonville. Homes, businesses and the campus of Jacksonville State University were hit there.

The weather service office in Huntsville has three teams out checking on damage. Possible tornadoes and large hail caused damage there.

Only a few injuries are being reported.

Forecasters say it’s going to be a rough day for cleaning up. Highs are predicted in the lower 50s, and wind gusts as strong as 30 mph are likely, along with rain. Dense fog shrouded some areas at daybreak.

Alabama Power Co. says more than 9,000 homes and businesses are without electricity.

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5:45 a.m.

Severe overnight storms have blown through Alabama where authorities in Jacksonville say several shelters have opened, local schools have closed and more help is needed at a university where storms caused major damage.

The Calhoun County Emergency Management Office said it was working to get emergency crews into storm-damaged areas after powerful storms struck Jacksonville State University and nearby areas.

School officials said major damage was done to the roof of the school’s 3,500-seat coliseum. Trees and power lines are down, and school officials are advising people to avoid traveling near campus.

Authorities said Calhoun County public schools and at least three private schools in the area would be closed Tuesday due to storm damage.

The storms were part of a large system that prompted tornado warnings Monday in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

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1 a.m.

The governor of Alabama says there has been significant damage in parts of Alabama.

Gov. Kay Ivey said state resources were being sent to the affected areas, especially Jacksonville and Calhoun County, in her statement Monday night.

She added, “Our first priority is ensuring our people are safe. Please stay out of affected areas and let first responders do their job.”

Alabama Power Co. is reporting about 15,000 homes and businesses without electricity in areas including Calhoun and Etowah counties.

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