Storms Strike the South

A fallen tree rests atop a pickup truck in Holly Springs, Mississippi, on Wednesday.Phillip Lucas / AP

Updated on December 24 at 2 p.m. ET

At least 10 people are dead and dozens injured as unusual pre-Christmas tornadoes ripped through three Southern states on Wednesday, and threatened more areas on Thursday.

In Mississippi, at least six people were killed and 60 injured in the storms, the state’s  Emergency Management Agency said. Three people died in Tennessee, and one person in Arkansas.

Parts of Georgia and southeast Alabama were placed under a tornado watch until mid-morning on Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center.

“A more marginal widely dispersed risk for severe thunderstorms exists from parts of the mid-Atlantic region southwestward across the southern Appalachians to East Texas,” the center said.

At least 14 tornadoes hit Mississippi on Wednesday, the center said, but it was a single one that did the most damage. Here’s CNN:

It started in northern Mississippi and didn't lift up until western Tennessee. The National Weather Service said it may have been on the ground 150 miles.

Several small communities in northern Mississippi were affected. Two people, including a 7-year-old boy, were killed in Marshall County; four people were killed in Benton County. In Tennessee, all three deaths were in Perry County, southwest of Nashville. In Atkins, Arkansas, an 18-year-old woman was killed when a tree crashed into the bedroom she was sharing with her 18-month-old sister. The toddler was rscued.

Greg Carbin, a meteorologist at the national Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, told NPR the storms are unusual, but “certainly not unprecedented.”

Tornadoes in southeast Mississippi at this time last year killed four people.