Published On: Fri, Apr 24th, 2020

Storms, tornadoes across Southeast kill at least 7, officials say


Severe storms and tornadoes tore through the Southeast Thursday, killing at least seven people, destroying buildings and leaving thousands without power, officials said.

Among those killed in Louisiana were a factory worker hit by a tornado, a man whose car was blown off the road and a man who went outside to grab a trash can and was swept away in a flood.

A dog walks past overturned trailers, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Onalaska, Texas, after a tornado destroyed came through the area night before. 

A dog walks past overturned trailers, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Onalaska, Texas, after a tornado destroyed came through the area night before. 
(Houston Chronicle via AP)

More than 150,000 businesses and homes from Texas to Georgia were without power as the severe weather blew eastward, snapping utility lines as trees fell, according to Poweroutage.us.

In Georgia, a tornado Thursday swept through the city of Adel in Cook County, tearing off roofs and flipping at least one car and a small plane.

Cook County’s emergency management director told The Valdosta Daily Times there was damage throughout the county and “heavy damage” in the city. Photos submitted to WALB-TV showed trees snapped in half and metal roofing material draped over some utility lines still standing.

In Alabama, winds peeled roofing material off a church and sent an awning crashing onto a car at a gas station.

A firefighter and an emergency medical worker were injured when part of a tree fell atop them while they were rescuing a person trapped inside a home by a tree that fell during a storm, Anniston EMS said in a statement.

Earlier, a tornado killed three people and injured about 30 more in and around Southeast Texas. Suspected twisters destroyed 46 homes and damaged another 245 in the surrounding area. Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy told a local paper that the dead included a woman in her 20s, a man in his 50s and another man whose age they don’t know.

Nine suspected tornadoes touched down in Southern Oklahoma, with one causing widespread damage across the town of Madill.

Outside town, workers from a trailer manufacturing plant were leaving work when a suspected twister hit. The body of a worker was later found about a quarter of a mile away, Marshall County Emergency Management Director Robert Chaney said.

SEVERE STORMS LEAVE DEADLY MARK ON SOUTH AS TORNADOES REPORTED, THOUSANDS WITHOUT POWER

The body of another man in Madill was found in the median of a highway after a tornado blew his vehicle off the road, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

A Louisiana man was later 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.

David Maynard sifts through the rubble searching for his wallet, Thursday, April 23, 2020 in Onalaska, Texas, after a tornado destroyed his home the night before. Maynard was inside his home when a tornado devastated the area. 

David Maynard sifts through the rubble searching for his wallet, Thursday, April 23, 2020 in Onalaska, Texas, after a tornado destroyed his home the night before. Maynard was inside his home when a tornado devastated the area. 
(Houston Chronicle via AP)

News outlets reported that a 67-year-old woman was killed during a storm in Lecompte, La., but it wasn’t immediately clear how she died.

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Louisiana State University Interim President Tom Galligan said the Alexandria campus lost power and water because of the storms. He said the approximately 40 students remaining on campus amid the coronavirus outbreak were being moved Thursday to a nearby hotel until campus services can be restored.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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