Oct 13, 2014 8:00 PM
2 killed as storms sweep across several states
The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) A dangerous storm system punched its way across the Southeast early Tuesday after killing at least two people earlier in the week as high winds and isolated tornadoes damaged homes, downed trees and left scattered power outages around several states.
The Storm Prediction Center estimated that more than 36 million people were in the path of damaging storms that sprang out of the Midwest earlier in the week and also left several people injured.
A messy morning rush hour opened in and around Atlanta as thunderstorms swept the region. Water from the lashing rains pooled on some low-lying parts of an interstate through downtown Atlanta as televised news footage showed cars crawling through the commute. Parts of Atlanta's northern suburbs were under a tornado watch around daybreak and power outages and downed trees also were reported.
Forecasters said tornadoes remained a threat in several areas around the South along with possible flooding in low-lying areas as up to 3 inches of rain were expected in spots. Weather radar showed a vast arcing storm system extending from southern Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida Panhandle.
In Alabama a day earlier, a tree fell on a mobile home about 25 miles northwest of Birmingham, killing a 75-year-old woman and injuring her husband, a coroner said. A tornado also touched down near Ashdown, Arkansas about 150 miles southwest of Little Rock killing a man and injuring his wife when their home was destroyed Monday, authorities said.
Meteorologist Joe Goudsward at the National Weather Service in Little Rock said that tornado was an EF2 on a scale that rates twisters from EF0 to EF5, adding a second tornado also was sighted in that state. Two tornadoes also touched down Monday in Missouri, causing some roof damage and toppling trees, according to the National Weather Service.
In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Monday even as the severe weather was still moving across his state. The storms downed trees and power lines in Louisiana, leaving thousands without electricity. A major utility, Entergy, said some more than 37,000 customers remained without power in hard-hit regions of that state. Large trees fell on some houses in Monroe, a city in northeast Louisiana, where downed branches and tree trunks block many streets.
And in Texas, lightning was suspected in a fire that set ablaze an oil well site near Longview, while downed trees were reported in parts of northern Louisiana.
Schools in several states canceled evening activities and delayed classes Tuesday. And the soggy weather led to the postponement of Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in Kansas City, between the Royals and the Baltimore Orioles.
Late Sunday, damaging winds knocked out electricity and overturned trucks on Interstate 40 in western Oklahoma as powerful thunderstorms pummeled that state. A portion of the interstate in Oklahoma was shut down briefly Monday morning to clear a downed power line before reopening by midday.