Southern storms kill 8; knock out power in Virginia

Blanche Robertson
April 15, 2019

National Weather Service meteorologist John Moore said a possible twister touched down Saturday in the Vicksburg, Mississippi, area.

In Monroe County, Mississippi, a 95-year-old man identified as Roy Ratliff, died after a tree fell on his mobile home. Dozens of homes in Hamilton, Mississippi, have been completely leveled. Trees were pulled up by the roots, roofs torn off buildings and the cinder block foundation was all that was left of a mobile home in the town, which is southeast of Waco. No fatalities were reported.

In addition, three people were killed when a private jet crashed in MS on Saturday, although Bryant said it was unclear whether it was caused by the weather.

One thunderstorm cell near Columbus Air Force Base in MS has a potential "debris ball" signature on radar, which indicates the potential for significant tornado damage that can be detected by radar, he said. Trees were down and at least some minor structural damage was reported in residential areas east of the campus.

First Alert Forecast: Threat for severe weather Saturday as rain chances increase
Severe thunderstorms are making their way across the state, bringing heavy rain, strong winds and possible, isolated flooding. Clouds will be on the increase as temperatures will go from near 70 into the lower 60s by early Sunday morning.

Deaths were reported across Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana. Capt. David Agee of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says the worker was struck about 2:15 a.m. Sunday near in the Birmingham suburb of Hueytown and died after being taken to a hospital.

In Alabama, a possible tornado damaged some buildings, power lines and trees in the southeastern part of the state Sunday morning, according to the AP. Strong winds with gusts up to 45 miles per hour are expected. More than 140,000 customers remained without power in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas late Saturday.

Franklin, Texas was heavily damaged with almost 60 buildings destroyed, local authorities say, including around 55 homes and several public buildings. Franklin is about 125 miles (200 kilometres) south of Dallas.

More than 100 million people from the middle of the United States to the East Coast were at risk of extreme weather, facing warnings of heavy thunderstorms and another round of tornadoes, said NWS meteorologist Bob Oravec. Crews were sent to survey the damage. The children, ages 8 and 3, were dead at the scene, while both parents, who were in the front seat, escaped injury, he said. Some people had to be extricated from damaged dwellings.

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