5 people killed as powerful storms sweep across southern U.S.
Monday 15/April/2019 - 10:08 AM
At least five people، including three children، were killed Saturday in powerful storms that swept across the southern U.S.، authorities said، NBCNews reported.
In Texas two children، ages 8 and 3، died when a tree fell on a car Saturday afternoon، trapping them inside، according to the Angelina County Sheriff's Department. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
In West Monroe، Louisiana، a 13-year-old boy drowned in a drainage area in what officials believe was a weather-related incident، said Glen Springfield، spokesman for the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office. Several streets were closed in the city of around 13،000 and a flood warning had been issued for the area، officials said.
A fourth person who died in the storms was a woman killed by weather-related debris near the community of Weches in Houston County، Texas، the sheriff’s office said. The age of the woman was not released. Weches is west of Nacogdoches.
A man in his mid-to-late 80s also died over the weekend in Monroe County، Mississippi، according to volunteer fire coordinator Terry Tucker. Tucker did not disclose the exact cause of his death other than to say it was weather-related. In Franklin، Texas، a tornado touched down and destroyed homes Saturday، injuring about a dozen people described as walking wounded and sending two people to the emergency room، Robertson County Sheriff Gerald Yezak said.
"A strip of homes on the other side of town over here are completely gone، just gone، everything is gone،" Robertson County Emergency Management Coordinator Billy Huggins said.
The National Weather Service's Fort Worth office tweeted that after a preliminary damage assessment، the tornado in Robertson County was estimated to have a peak intensity of EF-3 with winds of 140 mph. The damage survey will continue over the next several days، the service said.
Huggins said he got a call from the National Weather Service around 11:20 a.m. about a storm system that was on the ground and headed towards Franklin. "We started trying to get people activated to get eyeballs on it، and by then the thing was moving fast and it went right through town،” he said.
The weather service said severe thunderstorms from east Texas to Arkansas were possible Saturday، and the threat of severe weather will then affect the Ohio Valley into the southeastern U.S. on Sunday.
Angelina County is around 120 miles north of Houston، and Franklin، a town of about 1،500، is about 110 miles northwest of Houston.
In Alto، Texas، Marry Lamar with the volunteer fire department said a suspected tornado touched down Saturday، and several people were injured. The front wall of a gym at a school was blown off as were windows and doors at a fire house، Lamar said.