Areas of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia including the Tri-Cities are under a tornado watch until 1 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service.
High winds and gusts already are sweeping through, as scattered showers will continue this morning in the area ahead of a strong cold front with strong-to-severe thunderstorms arriving later this morning. Damaging winds in excess of 60 miles per hour are possible.
In Middle Tennessee, one death already has been attributed to the storm.
The Associated Press reports that police in Nashville say strong storm winds blew a large free onto a shed, killing a man who lived in it. The victim's name wasn't immediately released early Wednesday, but the homeowner told WTVF-TV (http://bit.ly/11dXybI ) the man was his wife's uncle.
The leading edge of the storm front contains strong straight line winds, which have knocked out electrical power to thousands of customers.
Farther west, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for all or parts of 10 counties in West Tennessee as heavy rain continued to fall. Included was Shelby County, where Memphis is located.
A tractor-trailer truck was blown to its side in Mount Juliet.
Also from the AP:
JACKSON, Miss. — A large storm system packing high winds, thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes is continuing its sweep across several Southern and central U.S. states.
Emergency management officials say the large storm front blacked out thousands in Arkansas and has caused scattered power outages in northern Mississippi. At least one person was reported injured by lightning in Arkansas.
Jeff Rent at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency urged residents to be on guard for severe thunderstorms, high winds and possible twisters. Tennessee and other states also were on guard Wednesday.
Rent says some houses have been damaged and trees and power lines felled as the brunt of the storm was felt in four Mississippi counties overnight. The storm is set to sweep toward the Eastern seaboard in coming hours.