Death Toll Rises to 4 as Severe Thunderstorms, Including Tornadoes, Flooding, Sweep Across the South
April 3, 2017
State of Emergency Declared in Louisiana
- Flash flooding triggered by powerful storms prompted evacuations and water rescues in Mississippi.
- Two people were were killed after an EF1 tornado touched down in Louisiana.
- Two others were killed by impacts from the storms in Mississippi.
Officials announced two more deaths Monday morning from the impacts of a severe weather outbreak in Mississippi, bringing the death toll to four across the South. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency before he went out to survey damage Monday afternoon.
The body of 52-year-old Jacqueline Williams was recovered Monday morning in Florence after her vehicle ran off the road and was carried away by fast-moving floodwaters hours earlier, according to the Associated Press. Rankin County Coroner David Ruth told the AP she called 911 from the sinking car, but authorities were unable to reach Williams before the vehicle became submerged.
In the town of Glendora, a woman died Sunday night when a tree fell onto her house, the AP also reported. The woman's identity has not been released.
About 30 people were evacuated early Monday after flash flooding inundated homes in Rankin County, according to the National Weather Service. Water rescues were also underway at the Laurel Park Apartments in Rankin County.
There have been multiple reports of flash flooding across parts of Mississippi into Louisiana.
Several school districts in Alabama were closed or planned to dismiss students early Monday as the state prepared for damaging storms. WKRG.com reported schools in Clarke and Washington counties, as well as the city of Thomasville, will be closed Monday.
Numerous other school districts will send students home early Monday, according to WTVY.com.
More than 27,000 homes and businesses were without power across Alabama Monday morning, according to Alabama Power.
Twisters Claim Two Lives in Louisiana
On Sunday, several tornadoes were reported from Texas to Louisiana, including an EF1 tornado that flipped a mobile home around 9:30 a.m. in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, killing a mother and daughter. According to The St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office, Francine Gotch, 38, and her 3-year-old daughter, Neville Alexander, were inside their mobile home when the tornado struck.
Eyewitnesses at the scene told KLFY.com that there were other injuries from the twister. The storm whipped up winds of at least 100 mph and remained on the ground for a mile.
"It was a tragedy that could have been even worse," St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Maj. Ginny Higgins told USA Today. "We are very much on edge. I hate the spring because we always have these awful storms."
During a Sunday news conference, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned residents that they should be on "high alert."
Dangerous Storms, Floods Hit Texas
The Lone Star State was also impacted by this round of severe weather. According to the Austin American-Statesman, strong winds uprooted large trees and caused structural damage along Austin's Lake Travis, and although no injuries were reported, residents were sent scrambling for safe shelter as the storms arrived.
- Blue Monster Prep