Intense and damaging thunderstorms moved over the southern Plains and into the Southeast over the past couple of days, dumping heavy rain and producing strong winds and 17 reported tornadoes. At least 2 people have lost their lives, one in Texas and another in Mississippi.
The first storms and tornadoes formed near Dallas and Houston, TX before noon local time, Wednesday, October 31. By the end of the day, the storms extended all the way to extreme southeastern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas.
Large hail was reported in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and far-southeastern Oklahoma Wednesday evening, AccuWeather reports. Parts of Houston experienced heavy flooding.
As of early November 1, nearly 50 000 customers were without power across Louisiana and more than 10 000 in Mississippi. At the height of the storm, nearly 100 000 homes and businesses were without power.
A small dam at a private lake in Arlington, TX appears close to failing, city officials said October 31. City of Arlington staff were notified of erosion around the dam and visited the site to assess the dam’s condition, they said in a statement.
"It appears failure of the spillway may be imminent. While no flooding of residential structures is anticipated, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams has declared an emergency and issued a proclamation Wednesday so that City staff may act to protect the safety of citizens and reduce damage to property and public infrastructure."
Several single-engine aircraft were damaged by strong winds at Baton Rouge Airport, LA. One of them was reportedly thrown 300 m (1 000 feet).
Three people were injured in Louisiana's Washington Parish when two EF-2 tornadoes touched down early November 1, flipping their mobile home near Bogalusa.
A 23-year-old Waller County deputy died Wednesday night after she reportedly lost control of her vehicle when she ran into water on a roadway. The patrol unit became airborne, flipped and landed upside down in a water-filled ditch, according to a press release.
Another woman lost her life in Mississippi after she hit a tree that fell onto a Claiborne County road.
Large storm system with a variety of threats moving into the East
A strong and very large storm system is gradually moving into the East, NWS said November 2.
Ongoing heavy rainfall will continue along the frontal boundary and shift the flash flooding threats eastward to the Mid-Atlantic into the Northeast.
A few strong to locally severe storms, capable of isolated wind damage, will be possible across parts of the East Coast.
Featured image credit: @baldbear87