2 children killed as storms lash Texas

2 children killed as storms lash Texas

More than 140,000 customers lost power in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas as of late Saturday.

One person was killed in northeastern MS when a tree crashed onto his trailer, Monroe County Road Manager Sonny Clay said at a news conference, adding that a tornado had struck.

The large storm system also knocked out power to thousands and caused some flash flooding.

The MSU Crisis Action Team is investigating reports of damage and evaluating the situation. A mobile home community was damaged, but no injuries are being reported.

The same system caused damage in Columbus, Mississippi.

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The Storm Prediction Center has issued an enhanced risk (level 3 out of 5) stretching from eastern Alabama through the southern Appalachians and into the Ohio Valley. Trees were pulled up by the roots, roofs torn off buildings and the cinder block foundation was all that was left of a mobile home in the town, which is southeast of Waco. The main time frame is from approximately 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.; earlier time west of I-55, then later farther east as storms moves across the state.

Local authorities say the intense tornado that struck the Central Texas town of Franklin destroyed 55 homes, a church, four businesses, a duplex and part of the local housing authority building.

Emergency Management Coordinator Billy Huggins said more than a dozen people were injured in Franklin, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Austin. This puts the bluegrass state in the possible bullseye for severe storms. None of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening.

The weather service said preliminary information showed an EF-3 tornado touched down with winds of 140 miles per hour (225.3 kph). Damaging winds are expected to be the primary threat, but a few tornadoes are also possible. Some people had to be extricated from their homes.

Winds of up to 60 mph (96.56 kph) were reported in Cherokee County, Texas, damaging two homes in Alto, about 140 miles (225 kilometres) north of Houston, but no injuries were reported.

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