Million People at Risk as Deadly Storms and Tornadoes March East

Posted April 15, 2019

The tree "flattened the vehicle like a pancake", said Capt. Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff's Office. In nearby Cherokee County, winds of up to 60 mph damaged two homes in the town of Alto, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Houston. Trees were toppled and minor damage was reported in residential areas east of the campus. At least one mobile home was destroyed, throwing a man from the mobile home. The 13-year-old boy drowned in a drainage area in West Monroe late Saturday afternoon, the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office said.

The storms produced additional tornadoes throughout Louisiana and MS on Saturday night as the storm moved east threatening the upper Ohio Valley and central Appalachians to the upper Gulf Coast on Sunday, before moving to the mid-Atlantic.

There were reports of multiple injuries in the Robertson County town of Franklin, the NWS said, and CNN affiliate KWTX reported widespread damage there.

Two children, ages 3 and 8, were killed when a tree fell on their auto as storms hammered east Texas.

The storm damaged a roof of a hotel in New Albany, Mississippi, and Mississippi State University's 21,000 students huddled in basements and hallways as a tornado neared the campus in Starkville. Capt. Alton Lenderman said the parents, who were in the front seats, were not injured. The center said it expects the threat of severe weather to increase throughout the day. Franklin is located about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Dallas.

Over the weekend, a total of 17 tornadoes were reported hitting states from Texas to Alabama, the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center Bob Oravec told Reuters.

The weather service said preliminary information showed an EF-3 tornado touched down with winds of 140 miles per hour (225.3 kph).

Monroe County Road Manager Sonny Clay said at a news conference Sunday that 19 people were taken to hospitals for treatment, including two in critical condition.

The large storm system also caused flash floods in Louisiana, where two deaths were reported. Some people had to be extricated from their homes.

He said the threat for severe weather is greatest at such times.

National Weather Service meteorologist Monique (moh-NEEK') Sellers says the agency received reports of downed trees, and damage to buildings and a transmission tower.

By late Saturday, the storms were expected to organize into a line as they cross the western border of Mississippi.