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Severe Storms Enter Southeast Following Tornadoes and Dangerous Flooding on Gulf Coast

CNN Report on Severe Storms Hitting Southeast and Ohio Valley

A potentially perilous storm system is poised to impact regions of the Southeast and the Ohio Valley on Thursday following a series of deadly storms and flash flood emergencies spanning from Texas to Mississippi.

The severe storm system is expected to weaken on Thursday after peaking on Wednesday. Louisiana and Texas reported at least four tornadoes amidst life-threatening floods, extensive power outages, and structural damage along the Gulf Coast.

Tragically, one fatality has been confirmed in central Mississippi’s Scott County, as announced by Governor Tate Reeves on Wednesday.

As the storms progress eastward on Thursday, the Storm Prediction Center warns of a slight risk of severe thunderstorms from Florida to South Carolina. The primary concerns include destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and the potential for isolated tornadoes.

While the severe weather threat diminishes across the Southern states, strong winds persist, prompting wind advisories for over 30 million individuals in the region.

The National Weather Service cautions that gusty winds may cause displacement of unsecured objects, downed tree limbs, and sporadic power outages.

In the aftermath of the storm’s passage, numerous homes and businesses remain without power, with approximately 260,000 reported outages spanning from Texas to Georgia by late Wednesday night.

Further north, the Ohio Valley anticipates severe thunderstorms through Thursday, with the possibility of more intense storms compared to those in the South. Areas at higher risk include western West Virginia, eastern Ohio, eastern Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, where multiple tornadoes and hail are plausible.

By Friday, the severe weather is projected to move off the coast, although the risk of flooding persists in parts of northern New England as storms traverse the Great Lakes and interior Northeast.

Trail of Devastation Left by Storms

The storms that swept from Texas to Mississippi on Wednesday caused significant damage and destruction along their path.

In Slidell, Louisiana, an EF-1 tornado resulted in at least 10 injuries, leaving roads obstructed by fallen trees and power lines. Rising water levels necessitated water rescues in the area.

Tornadoes were also reported in Saint Francisville and around Lake Charles, Louisiana.

In the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, an EF-1 tornado damaged a strip mall and a nearby car repair shop, although no injuries were reported.

Mississippi witnessed over 70 homes damaged or destroyed, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Intense rainfall led to hazardous flooding in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, prompting water rescues as streets transformed into waterways.

New Orleans faced inundation as excessive rainfall overwhelmed the city’s drainage infrastructure, resulting in flooded streets. The city’s Louis Armstrong International Airport recorded 6.44 inches of rainfall, nearly tripling its previous record.

Authorities in Louisiana took precautionary measures, shutting down numerous school districts and state offices in anticipation of the storm.

The storm’s impact extended into Alabama and Georgia, causing delays at the Augusta National Golf Course during the Masters tournament.

Contributions to this report were made by CNN’s Taylor Ward, Mary Gilbert, Caroll Alvarado, Sara Smart, Rachel Ramirez, Jacob Lev, Rosa Flores, Sara Weisfeldt, Devon Sayers, and Rebekah Riess.