Storm threats are set to hit many southern states this weekend. The National Weather Service says people in this areas can expect damaging winds, very large hail, flash flooding and long track violent tornadoes.
A twister dipping out of a storm system sweeping across the South Saturday caused widespread damage and some injuries when it hit the town of Franklin, Texas, according to media reports.
The town of 1,600 people, located 150 miles south of Dallas, took a direct hit, with at least two mobile homes destroyed, KWTX reports.
Emergency responders, speaking by radio, said at least seven people were injured, including a 52-year-old woman who was pulled by her son from the wreckage of a mobile home that fell on her. She was not believed to have life-threatening injuries.
The twister — racing along an eastward track — struck first just south of the town of Calvert, in Robertson County, then slammed into Franklin, 12 miles to the east.
Hail as large as 3 inches in diameter — slightly larger than a baseball — was reported north of San Antonio Saturday morning, AccuWeather reports.
A second tornado was confirmed in Alto, in East Texas, that reportedly destroyed two home and downed trees, The Weather Channel reports.
More than 67,000 customers, primarily in central and east Texas, were without electricity in the state Saturday afternoon, according to poweroutageus.com.
The storm system was expected to bring severe thunderstorms, including strong tornadoes, damaging winds and very large hail, from eastern Texas to western Alabama on Saturday.
The storm could also slam into Georgia on Sunday during the final hours of the Masters golf tournament. The National Weather Service said the threat stretches from the Ohio Valley into the Southeast for Sunday, as the tournament unfolds in Augusta.
“Sunday will bring the risk of more general thunderstorms in the area and any storm could bring severe weather conditions with frequent lightning strikes, torrential downpours and strong wind gusts,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. Severe weather sirens interrupted play during Friday’s round.
The classic round of April storms is emerging as a low pressure system collides with warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico.
For Saturday, the severe weather forecast area stretches from Dallas to Birmingham, Alabama, putting such cities as Lufkin, Texas; Monroe, Louisiana, Alexandria, Louisiana, and Jackson, Mississippi, in the bullseye of the storm.
Deadly and destructive tornadoes are most likely Saturday afternoon and evening. Some of the tornadoes could be strong and stay on the ground for more than a few minutes.
As the storm took shape overnight, hail up to 2 inches was reported in Big Lake, Texas, and golf-ball sized hail in Florien, Louisiana, The Weather Channel reports.
The storms in the South take center stage after three days of severe weather across the Upper Midwest that dumped more than two feet of snow in some areas. At least two fatal car crashes — one in Minnesota and the other in Denver — were blamed on the weather as snow, ice and strong winds created dangerous driving conditions, including white outs in some areas.
On Thursday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to help with flooding and to rescue stranded motorists.
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