A day after a line of severe storms spawned tornadoes blamed for the death of at least 15 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma, the South was raked again.
This time, Mississippi and Alabama were hard hit.
“Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said the twisters inflicted ‘severe damage’ around the town of Louisville, about 90 miles northeast of Jackson, and more around Tupelo. Winston Medical Center, Louisville’s major hospital, was among the buildings hit, Bryant told reporters.
“‘We have had early reports that the Winston Medical Center has received damage from a tornado. Walls are down. Some gas leak is occurring,’ he said.
“State emergency management chief Robert Latham said authorities were grappling with ‘multiple events over a wide part of the state,’ and that more tornado warnings were expected.”
Updated at 10:03 p.m. EDT: Fatalities
In Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency as up to seven deaths were reported. Two were killed in a mobile home park near Athens and four in Limestone County, near Decatur, AP is reporting.
In Mississippi, a woman died when her car either hydroplaned or blew off the road south of Tupelo.
A tornado damaged a medical center in Louisville, Miss., about 90 miles northeast of Jackson. No one was killed, AP said.
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The News Courier of Athens, Alabama, reports that officials in Limestone County are reporting “widespread damages all over the western side of the county.” One elementary school took a direct hit.
The National Weather Service reports that the outbreak of severe weather will continue through the night “for the lower Mississippi Valley and into the Tennessee Valley and central Gulf Coast states.”
“Numerous tornadoes are expected. Some of which could be intense,” the service forecasts. “Very large hail and damaging straight line winds are also likely.”
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