A fresh set of potentially damaging storms are threatening the South, hot on the heels of a destructive wave of weather that killed eight people and injured dozens more over the weekend.
As of Sunday, April 14, there were eight confirmed deaths stemming from the weekend storms. In Alabama, Captain David Agee of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office reported on Sunday that a county worker had died in a hospital after being hit by a vehicle near Hueytown. Agee told WBRC-TV that the worker was removing a tree for Jefferson County Roads and Transportation when he was struck.
Earlier Sunday, authorities reported the death of a Texas woman whose mobile home was destroyed by a tornado Saturday night. Four other people were injured when the trailer was struck, according to Roger Dickey, Houston County Emergency Management Coordinator.
Two children were the storm’s first victims in Houston County. The children, ages three and eight, were killed on Saturday when a tree fell on the car in which they were riding. They were in the back seat and their parents were in the front, Angelina County Sheriff's Department Captain Alton Lenderman said.
The Alto, Texas Police Department, in Cherokee County, about 125 miles southeast of Dallas – confirmed a woman who was injured by a tornado at Caddo Mounds later died. At least 25 people were injured in the area and were transported to hospitals. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC), part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said in a preliminary report that the tornado was an EF-3 that stayed on the ground for 30 miles from Houston County in to Cherokee County.
The severe storms also produced flash flooding as they headed eastward. A 13-year-old boy drowned in a drainage area in West Monroe, Louisiana late Saturday afternoon. Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office officials said they believed the death was storm-related. They reported a second death after responding to a vehicle submerged in floodwater with a victim inside. The accident is still being investigated and the identity of the victim has not been released.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said during a press conference on Sunday there was one storm-related death in the Magnolia State. Nine people were taken to emergency rooms across the state, four of whom were admitted to hospitals. On Sunday, Bryant also declared a state of emergency and met with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to update the public on the damage across the state. Officials said that 17 counties were dealing with damage from the storm, with the worst damage in Monroe and Warren counties.
People in the areas devastated over the weekend, in addition to many other neighborhoods across the South, will have to be on guard again this week. As they begin to recover from the damage, there’s a chance of severe storms coming back this Thursday and Friday, April 18 and 19. It’s difficult to give a detailed outlook on whether tornadoes could be strong or widespread, but an early look at forecast conditions indicate tornadoes will be possible, as well as large hail and destructive straight-line winds.
Having a NOAA weather radio with battery backup is the best way to stay aware of impending severe weather. You can receive important warnings 24/7, even if the electricity goes out and cell towers get knocked out of service.
Look for weather updates throughout the week on the FreightWaves website!