Dangerous storms threaten the Deep South after tornadoes cross Texas
A robust spring storm system that has been blamed for at least one death and left a path of destruction in Texas was expected to move across parts of the Deep South on Tuesday, bringing unstable weather and the risk of tornadoes.
About 3.2 million people in southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi and the western edge of Alabama were at moderate risk of severe weather Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.
Up to five inches of rain was forecast for the region through Tuesday evening, with higher amounts possible in some areas, meteorologists said. The system moving through the area could produce tornadoes, golf ball-sized hail and damaging winds of up to 70 miles per hour.
As of Tuesday morning, various weather warnings covered the central plains and the deep south. A tornado watch was issued Tuesday for large parts of Mississippi and Louisiana, including New Orleans. A flood watch extended from eastern Texas to the western edge of Tennessee.
A wind advisory covered most of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as parts of Arkansas and Tennessee.
Louisiana forecasters warned residents Monday evening that it was time to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes sweeping through the region.
“There is no safe shelter in a mobile home during a tornado,” the New Orleans Weather Service said. said on Twitter. “Seek shelter in a space provided within your mobile home community or seek shelter with friends or family who live nearby in a house or apartment. The last resort is to lie low and flat on the floor.
As storms moved east, some Louisiana state offices were closed on Tuesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Twitter. School districts across the state have also adjusted their schedules, with many closing for the day or closing early in anticipation of extreme weather. Similar school closings have been announced in Mississippi.
“Today will be windy with widespread rain including severe thunderstorms capable of damaging wind gusts, large hail and tornadoes,” the weather service in Jackson, Miss., said on Twitter. “Be careful!”
On Tuesday, the University of Alabama announced that it had normal operations suspended 1 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday. He warned there was an increased possibility of “supercell thunderstorms or tornadoes”, as well as heavy rain that could cause flooding.
The system should be less widespread and less intense as it moves across the eastern United States on Wednesday, meteorologists said.
Inclement weather ripped through Texas on Monday, where a 73-year-old woman was killed when a tornado destroyed her home in Sherwood Shores, a lakeside community in Grayson County near the Oklahoma border , authorities said.
Sarah Somers, the county’s director of emergency management, said in an email Tuesday that 10 other people were injured in the tornado and are being treated at hospitals.
Several tornadoes were reported in central Texas late Monday afternoon, including Round Rock, about 20 miles north of Austin where a video which circulated widely on social media showed people scrambling for cover inside a Walmart as a tornado funnel whipped debris into the store’s parking lot.
In Elgin, Texas, a suburb of Austin, a storm chaser captured video footage of a red pickup truck tossed on its side by a tornado before recovering and driving away.