40 million people under the gun for hail, damaging winds before holiday

Posted at 11:07 AM, May 28, 2017

Millions of people will get drenched or pummeled by severe weather that's arriving just in time for Memorial Day. 

Damaging winds and large hail threaten 40 million people from Texas to Pennsylvania on Sunday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. The storms could also spawn Isolated tornadoes.

The nasty weather will move southeast on Memorial Day, wiping out barbeque plans in parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. 

The storm system is not to be taken lightly. Residents in Missouri and Tennessee are still trying to recover from what hit them.

Missing people in Missouri

The popular tourist destination of Branson, Missouri, was deluged with 4 to 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. 

The rising waters led to more than a dozen water rescues, Fire Chief Ted Martin said. 

On Sunday, at least three people were missing after their car drove into water, Martin said. 

Long-term power outages

Ferocious winds reached 69 mph in Memphis, CNN affiliate WMC reported Sunday. The were strong enough to topple a memorial at Tom Lee Park. 

The storm severed electricity to more than 150,000 residents in the Memphis area -- and some of them might not get power for a week, said Memphis Light, Gas and Water. 

"Please begin to prepare for a long term outage situation. Make arrangements for elderly, young children," the power company tweeted. "Full restoration could take at least a week." 

Northeast to get thrashed, too 

While much of the nasty weather will be concentrated in the Southeast, the northern stretch of the storm system will also pummel parts of the mid-Atlantic on Memorial Day. 

Pennsylvania, Washington DC and West Virginia are "also going to be dealing with some very heavy rain and the potential for severe weather," CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said. 

That means it's time to bring the Memorial Day plans inside.