Powerful storms roll across U.S. South, causing death and damage

KENNER, La. -- A deadly storm system that spawned tornadoes in Gulf Coast states Tuesday night was expected to bring severe weather to the Carolinas by Wednesday afternoon.

See Full Article

The Tuesday storms mangled trailers at an RV park, ripped roofs from buildings and killed at least three people in Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said.

One of the hardest-hit areas in the Gulf Coast appeared to be a recreational vehicle park in the town of Convent, in southern Louisiana. Two people were killed there, said St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin, speaking on local television. Authorities were working into the early morning to look for people possibly trapped under the debris, Martin said.

Thirty-one people were taken to area hospitals and seven of them were in critical condition, he said.

"We never had anything like this; we never had this many people injured in one event, and so much destruction in one event," Martin told WVUE news. "We won't stop searching until we're satisfied we've searched every pile."

Martin said three people were still believed to be missing but efforts to account for them were hampered because authorities didn't know how many people were at the park when the storm hit or how many people were taken to hospitals in private vehicles.

Jerome Picou, who lives near the park, said just before the tornado hit that it was raining and the skies grew dark. Then he heard what sounded like a freight train.

"The wind was blowing a little bit, but then it stopped. Then all of a sudden all kinds of wind and rain started. It was so bad, I had to go inside the house or I would have been blown away with it," Picou said.

In Alabama and Georgia, forecasters issued flash flood watches ahead of the storm system, which was expected to drop 1 to 2 inches of rain. The warnings were expected to be in effect through Wednesday afternoon. The northern part of Georgia was also under a wind advisory.

The Wednesday forecast for the Carolinas calls for possible flash flooding and severe thunderstorms, including damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes.

Raleigh forecasters said straight-line wind gusts may be particularly strong, reaching 70 mph or greater.

News outlets in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida reported that schools in those states cancelled Wednesday classes ahead of the storm threat.

In Mississippi, officials Tuesday night were sorting through reports of damage to some buildings, but Vann Byrd of the Lamar County Emergency Management Agency said one person died in a mobile home west of Purvis. Lamar County Coroner Cody Creel said that Dale Purvis, 73, died of blunt-force trauma.

The reported tornadoes are part of a line of severe weather and storms that ripped through the region.

At least seven tornadoes hit southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, said Ken Graham, the meteorologist in charge for the National Weather Service's southeast Louisiana office.

That number includes the one in Convent and near Purvis, Mississippi, he said. Teams will be sent out in the morning to document the damage and rate the tornadoes, he said.

The harsh weather even affected the National Weather Service, Graham said. At one point the staff in the Slidell office took shelter because a tornado was nearby, and lightning took out the office's radar, forcing them to use backups, he said.

"We felt the shockwave go through the building," Graham said.

In Florida, the National Weather Service said a tornado hit Pensacola. Meteorologist Steve Miller said the service has had many reports of property damage and people injured in storms Tuesday night.

Reported tornadoes and severe weather caused damage in other parts of both states.

A reported tornado caused some damage but no injuries near New Orleans' main airport, while high winds ripped off roofs and downed trees around the greater New Orleans area. Other suspected tornadoes were reported north of Lake Pontchartrain and west of the city in St. Charles and Ascension parishes and in Prairieville, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, heavy damage was reported to some buildings, including a fitness gym.

Ronald Myers lives across the street from New Mount Bethel Baptist Church in Kenner, Louisiana, just outside of New Orleans. He recalled the sky darkening and high winds -- he believes it was a tornado. He and his wife came outside when they heard the church's alarm go off. High winds sheared the brick and mortar from the rear wall of the church.

"My wife came over to turn the alarm off and she came back home and said, 'Baby, the wall behind the church has done fell down,"' said Myers. He said he struggled to keep his footing in the wind, and it nearly knocked his wife down.

Associated Press writers Janet McConnaughey and Bill Fuller in New Orleans and Max Becherer in Convent, Louisiana, contributed to this report



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Police: Pregnant woman overdoses, charged with baby assault

    World News CTV News
    EAST BUTLER, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania woman who overdosed on heroin while pregnant and had to undergo a cesarean section is being charged with assault on her unborn child, authorities said. Kasey Dischman, 30, was roughly seven months pregnant when she injected herself with heroin she found under a couch early last Friday in her home in East Butler, about 64 kilometres north of Pittsburgh, a criminal complaint obtained by KDKA-TV shows. Source
  • Australian police charge Vatican cardinal with sex offences

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia -- Australian police charged a top Vatican cardinal on Thursday with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences, a stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' chief financial adviser and Australia's most senior Catholic, is the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal. Source
  • RRRoll Up the Rim in the summer? Yes, it's happening now

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It’s time to double down on Canada 150 celebrations with a double-double. Tim Hortons has announced a special edition of RRRoll Up the Rim to Win that begins on June 28 and continues through July 21, 2017. Source
  • Uber customers to start paying federal sales taxes July 1

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A ride in an Uber taxi will be a little more expensive as of Canada Day with federal tax added to the app’s taxi fares. The 2017 federal budget requires that HST and GST — which amounts to 13 per cent for Ontarians — be charged on every ridesharing trip in Canada as of July 1. Source
  • Canada reveals its team for the upcoming Invictus Games

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The strength of Canada’s team at the upcoming Invictus Games in Toronto lies in the bond between the veterans and armed forces members who form the group, the team’s co-captain said Thursday as organizers marked the 100-day countdown to the international sporting competition. Source
  • Clark says if her government toppled, it shows B.C. legislature can't function

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- Premier Christy Clark says she doesn't think the British Columbia legislature can work if her Liberal government is defeated in a confidence vote on Thursday. If Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon asks for her opinion, Clark says she will tell her she hasn't seen any evidence the house can function with the NDP and Greens holding a one-vote advantage in the 87-seat legislature. Source
  • Police pilot accused of helicopter attack in Venezuelan capital

    World News CBC News
    Oscar Perez is a cop, pilot, action movie star and dog trainer. He's now also a fugitive, accused of strafing two key Venezuelan government buildings from a helicopter in a quixotic attempt to set off a revolt against President Nicolas Maduro. Source
  • Saretzky guilty on all charges

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    LETHBRIDGE — It took jurors three hours Wednesday to convict Derek Saretzky of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of a little girl, her dad and an unrelated senior. The six-man, six-woman Court of Queen’s Bench jury found Saretzky planned and deliberated the Sept. Source
  • Kittens rescued from abuse in Prince Albert, Sask., die

    Canada News CBC News
    Five kittens rescued from abuse and attempts to light them on fire last month in Prince Albert, Sask., have died. "It's a very sad ending," said Liana Maloney, manager of the Prince Albert Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Source
  • Bono, the Edge donating time for Canada Day concert, government says

    Canada News CBC News
    U2 members Bono and the Edge are donating their time as a "birthday present to Canada" and will not be paid a performance fee for appearing at Canada 150 celebrations on Parliament Hill July 1, a spokesperson from Canadian Heritage says. Source