At Least 8 People Dead As Severe Weather Moves Across Southern U.S.

23 hours ago
Originally published on April 14, 2019 8:38 pm

Updated at 8:38 p.m. ET

Severe weather that moved across the southern U.S. on Saturday left at least eight people dead, injured dozens of others and ravaged numerous homes in its path.

Two children, ages 3 and 8, were killed in eastern Texas when a tree fell on the car in which they were traveling. Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches said in a statement that the children, who were in the car with their parents during the storm, were pronounced dead on the scene.

"They were at the wrong place at the wrong time," Capt. Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff's Office told The New York Times. "The tree fell just as they were going under it."

In central Texas, approximately a dozen people were injured in Franklin where a tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service, according to The Dallas Morning News.

In a preliminary damage report, the National Weather Service assigned the tornado an EF-3 rating, saying peak winds reached around 140 mph in Franklin.

About 100 miles northeast of Franklin, at least one suspected tornado swept through an outdoor event at the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis said one woman died of critical injuries, according to The Associated Press, which reports about two dozen additional injuries there.

The sheriffs office from nearby Houston County told KLTV that one woman was found dead near her home on Highway 21 West.

Video from the area showed damage to houses with roofs ripped off.

In North Texas, The Dallas Morning News reported hail, ranging from pea-sized to baseball-sized, falling throughout the region.

As the storm moved east, one person was killed by a tornado in the northern Mississippi, according to Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley.

During a press conference, Monroe County Road Manager Sonny Clay said the fatality was of 95-year-old Roy Ratliff, who died when a tree fell on his trailer in Hamilton, Miss. At least 19 others were injured and taken to hospitals for treatment, the AP reports.

Flash floods hit Louisiana, where two deaths were reported. Thirteen-year-old Sebastian Omar Martinez drowned in a drainage canal in Bawcomville, said Deputy Glenn Springfield of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department, the AP reports. About 13 miles west in Calhoun, another person died in a water-submerged vehicle, the wire service adds.

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. A vehicle fatally struck a county worker in Hueytown, a suburb outside Birmingham, the Jefferson County sheriff's office said on Twitter.

In preparation for the inclement weather reaching Georgia, the Augusta National announced it would move up the start time on Sunday for Round 4 of the Masters in hope that play would finish before thunderstorms reached the golf course, according to CBS.

The severe weather is expected to continue into late Sunday evening. According to AccuWeather, regions from Ohio to Pennsylvania and southern New York to northern Florida are at risk of damaging winds and flash flooding.

According to The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, the potential for isolated tornadoes also exists and could affect the Mid-Atlantic region.

NPR's Emma Bowman contributed to this report.

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