Storms force Blazers to take shelter in hotel parking garage

A Tupelo Public Works employee works to clear out more debris and tree limbs on Monday, May 3, 2021 after a tornado hit the area late Sunday night in Tupelo, Miss. (Adam Robison/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)
A Tupelo Public Works employee works to clear out more debris and tree limbs on Monday, May 3, 2021 after a tornado hit the area late Sunday night in Tupelo, Miss. (Adam Robison/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)

Credit: Adam Robison

Credit: Adam Robison

The Portland Trail Blazers got a bit of a scare before their game against the Atlanta Hawks when a tornado warning forced them to evacuate their hotel rooms

ATLANTA (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers got a bit of a scare before their game against the Atlanta Hawks when a tornado warning forced them to evacuate their hotel rooms.

The warning was issued Monday morning, about seven hours after the Trail Blazers arrived at their hotel a couple of miles north of State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta. The team had traveled in the early morning hours after a victory Sunday night at Boston.

Coach Terry Stotts said his players and staff were told to go to a lower-level parking garage, where they remained for about 30 minutes.

“I know tornadoes can do anything,” Stotts said. “You have to take the right precautions. The hotel staff was very organized and got everyone down there. We hung out there for about a half-hour, then we went back to our rooms.”

Severe storms moved across the South, spawning multiple tornadoes, damaging homes and uprooting trees from Mississippi to Kentucky. A tornado spotted in Atlanta forced thousands to seek shelter, and one man was killed west of the city when a falling tree brought down power lines onto his vehicle.

Asked if the severe weather disrupted any preparations for his team, Stotts said, “We didn’t get into our rooms until 3:30 in the morning. I’m sure there were some people sleeping and it disrupted their sleep. Hopefully they were able to make it up in the afternoon.”

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Boston Celtics' Evan Fournier (94) defends against Portland Trail Blazers' Norman Powell (24) as Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown, behind right, collides with Jayson Tatum, far right, as head coach Brad Stevens reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston Celtics' Evan Fournier (94) defends against Portland Trail Blazers' Norman Powell (24) as Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown, behind right, collides with Jayson Tatum, far right, as head coach Brad Stevens reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Credit: Michael Dwyer

Credit: Michael Dwyer

A excavator is used to clean along Lunceford Lane in Calhoun City, Mississippi, Monday, May 3, 2021, following Sunday's severe weather that destroyed several blocks of business and homes. (Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)
A excavator is used to clean along Lunceford Lane in Calhoun City, Mississippi, Monday, May 3, 2021, following Sunday's severe weather that destroyed several blocks of business and homes. (Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)

Credit: Thomas Wells

Credit: Thomas Wells

Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts pats guard CJ McCollum (3), who heads to the bench during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Friday, April 30, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts pats guard CJ McCollum (3), who heads to the bench during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Friday, April 30, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Credit: Mary Altaffer

Credit: Mary Altaffer

Boston Celtics' Evan Fournier (94) and Robert Williams III (44) battle Portland Trail Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic (27) for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston Celtics' Evan Fournier (94) and Robert Williams III (44) battle Portland Trail Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic (27) for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Credit: Michael Dwyer

Credit: Michael Dwyer

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