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Bill Graham / The Meridian Star

A storm knocked down a tree on 22nd Ave. in Meridian Tuesday. 

A severe thunderstorm hit East Mississippi Tuesday afternoon, knocking down trees and causing property damage. 

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The National Weather Service had issued a tornado watch until 4 p.m. for 31 Mississippi counties, including Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba and Newton.

AccuWeather forecasters warn a wave of severe weather is expected to strike storm-weary areas of the United States. The threat zone will cover an area of more than 1,000 miles from the lower Mississippi Valley and Southeast to the upper Ohio Valley into Tuesday night , and storms in these areas will be capable of producing more tornadoes.

There is an enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms across the Southeast Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center. About 9.7 million people live in this enhanced zone.

The population total increases to more than 18 million when accounting for a broader part of the region currently facing a slight risk for severe thunderstorms.

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