Several Dead, Dozens Injured, as Tornadoes Hit Oklahoma, Texas and storms rip through Mississippi. Tornadoes ripped through part of Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana Wednesday, killing multiple people and leaving thousands without power. Severe thunderstorms were bearing down on Mississippi Thursday after apparent tornadoes.
Watch: Unexpected Tornado Took Many Lives in Oklahoma, Texas, and Mississippi
Social media photos from Onalaska show leveled buildings, overturned vehicles, and debris scattered across roadways. The Texas Department of Transportation closed FM365 because of the storm. The Polk County Office of Emergency Management issued a disaster declaration, but emergency management officials by late Wednesday. Onalaska has a population of roughly 2,900. Late Wednesday, Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy was assessing the situation from the county’s emergency command center.
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The Dunbar Gym in Livingston set up as an emergency shelter. In southern Oklahoma, a trailer worker’s body found a quarter-mile from the factory where they worked after the apparent tornado slammed the town of Madill in Marshall County, according to Emergency Management Director Robert Chaney. 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. In Louisiana’s Rapides Parish, at least one woman was killed near Woodworth as a storm passed through, Sheriff-elect Mark Wood said late Wednesday.
Homes were damaged and destroyed, and downed trees and power lines slowed first responders getting to the area. In DeSoto Parish, at least one flood-related death occurred after a man reportedly lost his footing when attempting to retrieve his trash can from the water near a drainage ditch, sheriff Jayson Richardson said. The current carried the man about 50-60 yards, where the body recovered. From Texas to Mississippi, more than 100,000 customers were without power, according to a power outage.
The storms moved through southern Mississippi into Thursday, bringing strong winds, flooding, wind surges, and hail. Flash flooding continued in central Mississippi, particularly in Hinds and Rankin counties. The National Weather Service for Mobile/Pensacola warned two possible rounds of storms Thursday. “Damaging wind, hail, and tornadoes are all possible on Thursday,” the weather service said.