Mon, Apr 15, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Two children die as storms sweep across southern US

AP, DALLAS, Texas

The remains of a home sit among debris following a storm in Franklin, Texas, on Saturday.

Photo: AP

Powerful storms that rolled across the southern US on Saturday spawned at least two suspected tornadoes, damaged homes and killed two children in Texas, authorities said.

The Angelina County Sheriff’s Office said an eight-year-old and a three-year-old died when strong winds toppled a tree onto the back of their family’s car in Lufkin while it was in motion.

Captain Alton Lenderman said the parents, who were in the front seats, were not injured.

In central Texas, Robertson County Sheriff Gerald Yezak told reporters that a tornado hit the small city of Franklin, overturning mobile homes and damaging other residences.

The US National Weather Service said preliminary information showed an EF-3 tornado touched down with winds of 225kph.

Crews would continue to survey the damage over the next few days.

Two people were hospitalized for injuries not thought to be life-threatening, while others were treated at the scene for minor injuries, Yezak said.

Some people had to be extricated from their homes.

Weather service meteorologist Monique Sellers said they have received reports of downed trees, as well as damage to buildings and a transmission tower.

The storms are part of a large system moving through the southern US, knocking out power to thousands and causing some flash flooding.

The system was expected to shift to the Ohio Valley and the southeast yesterday, the weather service said.

More than 140,000 customers remained without power in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas late on Saturday.

Meteorologist John Moore said a possible twister touched down on Saturday in the Vicksburg, Mississippi, area.

No injuries have been reported, but officials said several businesses and vehicles were damaged.

Trees were down throughout the hilly city on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi.

Heavy rains and storms continued to rake the state into the night, with Mississippi State University’s 21,000 students huddling in basements and hallways as a tornado came near the school’s campus in Starkville.

Some debris, possibly carried by the tornado, was found on campus, but no injuries were reported and no buildings were damaged, University spokesman Sid Salter said.

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