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Deadly storms, floods and tornadoes hit the US South


Tens of thousands of people have lost power as severe weather rolled through the southern United States and turned deadly on Monday, January 2, 2017. As of early January 3 (UTC), at least 5 people have lost their lives. Authorities fear the death toll will rise and urge people to pay attention to the warnings and act accordingly.

A low pressure system brought severe thunderstorms to parts of the South on Monday, spinning off several tornadoes, flooding widespread areas and leaving more than 100 000 people without power.

The first line of storms storm hit parts of Texas around 05:00 local time, downing power lines, dropping small hail and sparking at least one house fire. At least 18 000 were without power. The second line of storms rolled in with the sunrise causing flash flooding.

The storms then headed east, causing significant damage to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Much of the damage was caused by flash flooding after a series of storms soaked the region over the past week. Some regions received up to 180 – 230 mm (7 to 9 inches) of rain in just a couple of days.

In Louisiana, a possible tornado reportedly damaged several homes in LeCompte. Severe damage was also reported throughout Avoyaleles Parish, including houses that trees fell through and a building that lost its roof. More than 16 000 customers in the state were without power at one point.

In Alabama, four people were killed in a single home when a tornado hit the town of Rehobeth in the state's south and crashed a tree onto their mobile home.

In Florida, the body of a 70-year-old man was found floating outside his travel-trailer, the Walton County Sheriff's Office said. The death was ruled an accidental drowning.

Downed trees and damaged buildings were reported in at least 28 counties in Mississippi, 15 parishes in Louisiana and 15 counties in Texas, The Weather Channel meteorologist Danielle Banks said.

In Mississippi, a confirmed tornado touched down Monday afternoon near Mendenhall, southeast of Jackson. A second, radar confirmed tornado hit near Mt. Olive, about 13 km (8 miles) northeast of Collins.

A young man was struck by lightning early Monday in Vicksburg, MS as he and three other were duck hunting. Warren County Sherriff office told WLBT the man is injured, but the extent of his injuries are not yet known.

About 23 000 people in the state were without power on Monday.

Video courtesy Live Storms Media

Video courtesy Weather Nation

Video courtesy Weather Nation

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a low pressure system will move from the lower Mississippi valley to the Ohio valley by Tuesday morning.

Widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected through tonight across areas from the lower and mid-Mississippi valley east to the Tennessee and Ohio valleys and the Southeast.

Severe thunderstorms, as well as flash flooding, are possible from the lower Mississippi valley to the Southeast.

On Tuesday, the area of low pressure will weaken over the Ohio valley as energy is transferred to a new area of low pressure along the Mid-Atlantic coast.

As this second low develops, precipitation is expected to spread across the Northeast on Tuesday.

Sufficient cold air will be in place for precipitation to fall as a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain from portions of Upstate New York to northern New England.

Snow may be heavy across northern Maine, the NWS said.

This complex storm over the eastern third of the country will move to Eastern Canada by Wednesday evening, January 4.

Featured image: Purvis tornado damage, Mississippi on January 2, 2016. Credit: Weather Nation

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