Southern states brace for another round of severe weather, including tornadoes

Kaanita Iyer, USA TODAY
·3 min read

As people in parts of the South try to pick up the pieces from a second round of storms in two weeks that hit Thursday, a third wave of severe weather is predicted this weekend.

Parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee face an enhanced risk warning for severe weather and tornadoes on Saturday, the NWS' Storm Prediction Center reported.

Heavy rain, hail and wind is expected in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Saturday afternoon and into the evening. Flash flooding is also expected, according to the National Weather Service.

"Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches, combined with saturated soils, could lead to rapid rises in rivers and streams throughout parts of the Mid-South and Tennessee Valley," the National Weather Service warned.

'Airplanes torn apart like toys': Severe weather in the South leaves 5 dead in Alabama, 1 in Georgia

Meanwhile in the Midwest, eastern Missouri and Illinois can expect isolated severe weather late Saturday afternoon. The expected rain, hail and wind will move into Indiana in the evening.

Rain and thunderstorms will also be seen as far as parts of Arizona and New Mexico early Saturday, along with central Illinois, North and South Dakota and Upper Midwest into the night.

The storms will shift east into Southeastern and the Mid-Atlantic states Sunday, according to AccuWeather, and another round of rain is forecast for the South early next week.

This week, Storm Prediction Center recorded 17 tornadoes in Alabama, five in Georgia and one in Mississippi. The severe wave of tornadoes left at least six people dead — five people in Alabama and one person in Mississippi.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a series of tweets Friday that crews were assessing the damage and getting services restored.

"Alabama endured another long day of severe weather yesterday with several areas being hit hard by tornadoes (and) flooding," Ivey wrote, in part.

"We will be there for our fellow Alabamians as they work to recover from this devastation."

Three of the five victims in Calhoun County, Alabama, were family members who died inside a wood frame home in Ohatchee, a small east Alabama town, after an apparent tornado touched down around 3 p.m. Thursday, the Calhoun County coroner said.

Another man was killed in a mobile home in Ohatchee. The fifth victim, a woman, died in a mobile home in Wellington, Alabama.

Just 9 miles from where the three family members died, Joshua Farmer hid in a closet of a church that was destroyed.

“I thought I was going to die. Like, legitimately, I thought that was it. I thought I was finished,” Farmer told the Montgomery Advertiser. “But I survived it somehow and I walked out of there. I walked away untouched. Not sure why I’m here.”

In Centreville, Mississippi, a woman was killed after a tree knocked over by high winds fell on her mobile home Wednesday evening, according to Wilkinson County Emergency Management.

There were several reports of destroyed homes and churches, and tens of thousands of people without power.

Contributing: Doyle Rice, USA TODAY; Donna Thornton and Melissa Brown, the Montgomery Advertiser; Gabriela Szymanowska, Mississippi Clarion Ledger.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Severe weather: Southern states face tornado threat Saturday