US weather: Tornado warning issued as deadly storms sweep southern America

Tom Barnes

A least three people have died after a second wave of powerful tornadoes and thunderstorms battered the US south and Midwest.

One person was killed after a tree fell on his vehicle in Neshoba County, Mississippi, Thursday afternoon, local paper the Neshoba Democrat, reported.

A second death in the state was reported in St Clair County, where a tree fell on a home later that evening.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said a third person had also died after a tree fell on a house in Wattsville, Alabama.

The deaths come days after at least five people, including three children, were killed last weekend when a storm system that drove more than 35 tornadoes across southern states.

Communities in central Texas and western Louisiana, already hit by flash floods and cyclones, were hit once more by high winds, tornadoes, egg-sized hail and intense rain Thursday and Friday.

In the latest storm system, multiple possible tornadoes hit southwest and central Mississippi Thursday night and early Friday, the NWS said, but damage will have to be surveyed before confirmation is made.

“We’re still under some severe storm warnings, tornado watches and flood warnings into this morning and the afternoon across a broad swipe of the US,” said NWS meteorologist Bob Oravec.

“The severe thunderstorms will impact the Deep South and southeastern US, through Georgia and the Florida panhandle, before it heads up the Atlantic Coast.”

Flash flooding is expected to remain a threat in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts on Saturday.

The storm system will lose much of its punch late in the weekend, but the East Coast should expect a soggy Easter, Mr Oravec added.

Power outages were reported early Friday in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, affecting a total of about 91,800 homes and businesses, according to the tracking site PowerOutage.Us.

Additional reporting by Reuters