At least eight people are dead, including two children, after severe weather, including tornadoes, slammed communities across the South over the weekend.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency and met the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on Sunday to report on the damage across the state.
Officials say that 17 counties are dealing with damage from severe storms. The worst damage was seen in Monroe and Warren counties.
At least one person was killed and several more injured in Monroe County, Mississippi, after a large tornado swept through the town of Hamilton on Saturday night.
Early reports had said two people died from this tornado, but Monroe County Road Manager Sonny Clay confirmed one death at a news conference on Sunday, according to WVTM. The victim, a 95-year-old man, was killed when a tree was brought down onto his trailer.
A total of 19 people were taken to hospitals for treatment. The Monroe County coroner reports that multiple other homes were damaged in Hamilton.
Preliminary reports show an EF2 tornado hit Hamilton, with winds of 130 mph. Another tornado track in northern Monroe County near Greenwood Springs, is still being investigated.
Vicksburg, Mississippi, was also affected by a confirmed tornado in the evening hours.
The community of Franklin, Texas, was the victim of a large preliminary EF3 tornado with winds of 140 mph that blasted through the town during the late-morning hours on Saturday, spreading significant damage.
Robertson County officials told KBTX that 55 homes, one church, four businesses, a duplex and part of the local housing authority were destroyed by the tornado. The south side of Franklin was “totally destroyed,” County Judge Charles Ellison stated.
Debris covering roads hindered rescue crews from reaching some areas. About 30 people who escaped the tornado without injuries are now staying at a shelter set up in the town. More than a dozen people were injured, but there were no fatalities in this town.
In nearby Pollock, Texas, two children were killed after a tree fell on a vehicle they were in during a severe thunderstorm. According to Angelina County Sheriff’s Captain Alton Lendermen, the 3-year-old and 8-year-old children were in a car with their parents on DeWitt Hinson Road.
Two additional deaths were confirmed in Texas on Sunday. One woman died after suffering critical injuries on Saturday after a tornado ripped through Caddo Mound State Historical Site, the AP said. Additionally, one person was killed in the town of Weches, located in neighboring Houston County.
More than a dozen people were injured in Alto, Texas, when a tornado damaged several structures, including the gym of the town’s elementary school.
On Sunday afternoon, six people were injured after a suspected tornado hit Shelby, Ohio, according to the AP. Several homes and businesses in the area were damaged.
A powerful thunderstorm unloaded hail as large as 3 inches in diameter north of San Antonio on Saturday morning. Slightly larger than a baseball, hail of this size can cause significant damage and endanger people and animals without shelter.
Large hail of similar sizes also pounded areas north of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Flash flooding caused road closures and damage in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, Saturday. Motorists were being told to avoid travel as several cars had become stranded. Two people reportedly drowned in floodwaters in the parish, Deputy Glenn Springfield told the AP.
One fatality was reported in Alabama. A Jefferson County worker was killed early Sunday when he was struck by a vehicle after trying to remove a downed tree from a road, AL.com reported.
by Kristina Pydynowski (2019, Apr 15) AccuWeather