Severe weather was moving through the South on Thursday after floods and apparent tornadoes hit parts of Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana a day earlier, killing at least seven people and leaving thousands without power.
What We Know:
- More than 150,000 customers from Texas to Mississippi were without power Thursday as the severe weather moved through, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility reports.
- The Storm Prediction Center recorded 28 preliminary reports of tornadoes from Wednesday. This number may change as storm surveys are completed in the days ahead, AccuWeather said.
- A factory worker in Oklahoma was killed when a suspected twister hit just as the workforce was leaving for the day from J&I Manufacturing in southern Oklahoma, Marshall County Emergency Management Director Robert Chaney said. The worker’s body was found about a fourth of a mile from the factory, Chaney said.
- A second person died in Madill when his vehicle was blown off a highway. The body of Chad L. Weyant, 46, of Madill was found in the median and his vehicle in a nearby field, according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report.
- At least three people in Texas were killed near Onalaska in Polk County when a suspected twister hit around 6 p.m. Drone video from the area showed smashed homes and debris strewn about. At this time, search and rescue is ongoing, and Polk County Emergency Management officials said there are at least 20-30 injuries.
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement: “My office, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, and other state agencies are working with local officials to provide immediate support to the areas devastated by this tornado.” “The state has already deployed response teams and medical resources to help Texans in need and to provide assistance to these communities. Our hearts are with our fellow Texans tonight and the state will continue to do everything it can to support those affected by this severe weather.”
- A Louisiana man was found dead after a witness saw him try to retrieve a trash can from water near a drainage ditch; He lost his footing and was swept away by floodwaters, DeSoto Parish Sheriff Jayson Richardson told the Shreveport Times.
- A woman was also killed on a bridge in Woodworth, Louisiana, 15 miles south of Alexandria, due to the severe weather, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office told KALB-TV. The Sheriff’s office did not provide detail on how she died.
- The Alexandria campus of Louisiana State University also saw some damage from the storm. The university tweeted, “All resident students safe. There is damage to the DeWitt Livestock building and a camper flipped over.” The campus was also left without power.
A National Weather Service team will be dispatched to survey damage and to confirm whether the storms were tornadoes.