Tornadoes, severe storms stun South


Drastic footage shows the deadly front that drove a line of severe storms and tornadoes through much of the South rolled east on Sunday.
USA Today

A wide swath of the nation awoke to devastation Monday after a deadly front drove a line of severe storms and tornadoes through much of the South and East over the weekend, destroying neighborhoods and flattening a Texas town.

The death toll rose to eight and dozens more were injured after a wave of suspected tornadoes roared from Texas to New Jersey. Rolling power outages followed the storms, and 170,000 homes and businesses were without power Monday from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.

On Sunday afternoon, six people were injured after a suspected tornado roared through a section of Shelby, Ohio. Police Chief Lance Combs said damage to the power infrastructure was “severe” and that some streets were littered with utility poles and trees.

“If there is a silver lining to the cloud that passed us, was the time, day and location,” Combs said. “Just a half a mile to the north and our residential neighborhoods would have been devastated.”

Wind gusts of up to 60-70 mph accompanied the storms, more than enough to topple trees and power lines.

Severe storms and high winds blasted Washington, D.C., and it suburbs Sunday night and early Monday, and the weather service warned that 50-mph gusts were possible all day Monday. 

The storm stretched to New England. The Boston Marathon’s 30,000 runners were ordered to shelter in schools and garages while awaiting Monday’s rolling start in heavy rains and wind.  The weather cleared for an on-time start, but forecasters warned of possible thunderstorms and wind gusts up to 34 mph.

“Thank you to all participants for cooperating through the inclement weather!” marathon officials tweeted in advance of the start.

In New Jersey, the roof of an apartment complex collapsed early Monday in Camden. In Delaware, several homes and businesses were battered in the town of Laurel.

The weekend brought devastation across much of the South. In Texas, the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office said two children were killed Saturday when strong winds toppled a tree onto their family’s car. In nearby Alto, Sheriff James Campbell said one person died and at least 25 people were injured after a tornado ripped through a cultural event at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site.

And more than 100 miles to the west, a massive tornado estimated at EF3 strength with winds of 140 mph tore through Franklin, Texas, injuring more than a dozen people and damaging more than 50 homes and businesses.

“The south side of Franklin looks like a war zone,” County Sheriff Gerald Yezak told

Mississippi was also hard hit, with Gov. Phil Bryant declaring a state of emergency on Sunday night. Authorities in Monroe County said a 95-year-old man was killed when a tree fell on his mobile home, and several people were missing and several homes were damaged in Hamilton, a rural hamlet of about 500 people 45 miles northeast of Starkville. 

County Road Manager Sonny Clay said 19 people were injured, two critically. A hospital clinic, apartment complex, firehouse and several single-family homes were damaged. Clay told the Monroe Journal that Hamilton drew the most destruction, but damage was widespread throughout the county.

In Louisiana, Deputy Glenn Springfield of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department said two people died in floodwaters Saturday. And in Alabama, a Jefferson County employee was struck and killed by a vehicle while clearing toppled trees from a roadway. 

Contributing: Kristin Lam, USA TODAY; The Associated Press



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