US: Giant tornado, storm sweeps across Mississippi, at least 2 dead, 5 injured – 120413 1205z

Giant tornado sweeps across Mississippi

(Video credit: RussiaToday)

A tornado slammed into Kemper County, Miss., on Thursday, killing one person and injuring at least five, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reported. Jeff Rent, an agency spokesman, confirmed the death and also said several buildings were damaged.

There were reports of widespread power outages. As severe storms moved east Thursday night, tornado watches were issued for southeast Alabama and parts of Georgia and Florida. Kemper County Sheriff James Moore said the fatality occurred as the twister touched down around noon local time near a power plant on Mississippi Highway 493, the Kemper County Messenger reported.

Five Mississippi counties reported damage to several homes and a fire station, along with downed trees and power lines. About 4,000 utility customers lost electricity. Gov. Phil Bryant declared states of emergency in Kemper and Noxubee counties.

Friday, 12 April, 2013 at 03:04 (03:04 AM) UTC RSOE

Other Reports:

Two dead in US Midwest severe spring storm

BBC

A woman walks through her storm-damaged kitchen in Hazelwood, Missouri 11 April 2013 Experts say it is unusual for storms to cause damage across such a wide area

Two people have died in a storm that brought snow, hail, rain and possible tornados to a swathe of the US Midwest.

The deaths were reported in the states of Nebraska and Mississippi, where several others were injured after a reported tornado touched down.

A state of emergency has been declared around St Louis, Missouri, where about 25 suburban homes were damaged.

Wind speeds peaked at 101mph (163km/h) in Sullivan, Missouri, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

The first death was reported in Nebraska on Tuesday, when a woman was killed as she waded through driving snow to reach her house from her disabled car.

The second death, in Mississippi, occurred in the wake of a tornado in the eastern part of the state, an emergency official said.

‘Ears popping’

Damage was reported as far west as Texas and as far east as Pennsylvania.

“It is a bit unusual this time of year to see it over that broad an area,” said Bill Bunting at the NWS storm prediction centre. “It is a fairly strong storm system.”

I thought it was an earthquake, and that’s when things started collapsing Dave Grounds Resident of Alton, Illinois”

A tornado reportedly touched down in northern Arkansas, injuring four people, local weather officials said.

In Missouri, electricity crews were working to restore power to about 23,000 customers cut off during the storm.

Further north, snow, ice and wind also led to power cuts.

Members of a local airport board were gathered in Sullivan, Missouri for a meeting on Wednesday evening when the storm’s highest wind speed was recorded.

“The city administrator said his ears were popping, then all of a sudden the building shook and the windows shook,” said board member Larry Cuneio.

“I’m the street commissioner and I’ve seen wind do a lot of things, but never anything like this.”

In Alton, Illinois, Dave Grounds said he was watching television at home when the rain suddenly picked up.

“That’s when the house started shaking violently, like it was grabbed by both sides,” Mr Grounds said. “I thought it was an earthquake, and that’s when things started collapsing.”

In Alabama, about 50 school systems sent pupils home early, ahead of the approaching storm.

Meanwhile in South Dakota, as much as 30in (76cm) of snow was reported to have fallen in some areas in recent days, and in North Dakota, a region prone to floods, 3-5in of snow was expected on Thursday evening.

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Deadly tornado hits Mississippi as storm system stretches across East

NBC News

“A destructive and massive storm system draped itself across half the country Thursday, from the Gulf Coast to Canada and with a wingspan from Maine to the Dakotas. At least one person was killed in Mississippi, where a tornado touched down.

Authorities in Kemper County, Miss., along the Alabama state line, reported that the storm also caused several injuries and extensive damage and destroyed at least one steel building.

Gov. Phil Bryant offered thoughts and prayers for people in the path of the storm and said that the state was sending help.

By early afternoon, the tornado was moving toward Alabama, and the more heavily populated cities of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa were in the path of the worst of the storm system.

David Carson / Post-Dispatch via AP

A tree fell on this home in Hazelwood, Mo., during heavy storms Wednesday. There were two reports of tornadoes in the town, according to Weather.com, and the governor declared a state of emergency.

The system, which has disrupted weather all over the country this week, formed a giant T on Thursday. Snow fell in the Dakotas and upstate New York, and ice-slicked roads in Wisconsin. Rain drenched the Ohio Valley and New Orleans.On Wednesday, the storm system whipped up tornadoes and severe thunderstorms across Missouri and Arkansas, wrecking homes, downing power lines and injuring people in both states.The St. Louis suburbs were walloped, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency. The town of Hazelwood reported two tornadoes, and a tree fell on a house there.While authorities in Arkansas could not confirm a tornado, but three homes were destroyed and more than 50 damaged along with a church. People were trapped inside a house in Lincoln when a tree fell on it.

Van Buren County, in north central Arkansas, was hit hard. More than 30 homes were damaged, six were destroyed, and a fire department was heavily damaged, according to county judge Roger Hooper. Four people were hurt.

The storm made a plaything of an 18-wheeler in Botkinburg, Ark., tossing the truck and damaging a house.

Other parts of the country were hit with a mix of snow and ice, and Gov. Mark Dayton called out the National Guard to help ice-bound Minnesotans. Freezing rain and ice yanked down power lines and tree limbs in Minnesota.

NBC News’ Christopher Nelson contributed to this report.

Related:

PhotoBlog: Trees toppled, homes destroyed by powerful storms

Full coverage from weather.com

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“A large tornado tore across the US state of Mississippi on Thursday, as strong spring storms battered parts of the southeast and Midwest. A resident of Noxubee County in the far eastern part of the Mississippi filmed the approaching tornado on his mobile phone as it swirled across nearby farmland. Authorities said there were reports of damaged buildings and many power outages. At least three people were killed as a result of the storms and thousands were left without power.” – rt.com

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