Officials provide update on tornado that hit small Texas town

Severe storms and wind gusts up to 40 mph will hit New Orleans Saturday afternoon

Severe storms and wind gusts up to 40 mph will hit New Orleans Saturday afternoon

The Angelina County Sheriff's Office says an 8-year-old and 3-year-old died after the tree hit the back of the vehicle in Lufkin, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northeast of Houston.

Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley says multiple people were injured and multiple homes were damaged in Hamilton, Mississippi, which is 140 miles (225 kilometers) southwest of Memphis, Tennessee.

Almost 90,000 customers were without electricity in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia as of midday Sunday, according to www.poweroutage.us as the severe weather left a trail of destruction.

The storm system's death toll rose to at least five on Sunday, when authorities reported the death of a Texas woman whose mobile home was destroyed Saturday night.

National Weather Service meteorologist John Moore said a possible twister touched down Saturday in the Vicksburg, Mississippi, area.

Tornado watches are already in place across parts of the region and the potent storm system has already been producing strong tornadoes in eastern Texas.

A MS man, identified as 95-year-old Roy Ratliff died on Saturday when a tornado caused a tree to fall onto his home, Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley said.

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A preliminary damage survey showed an EF-3 tornado, with winds up to 140 miles per hour, touched down in Robertson County, the NWS in Fort Worth said.

The roof of a hotel in New Albany, Mississippi, was damaged, although the cause was unclear. Capt. Alton Lenderman said the parents, who were in the front seats, were not injured.

The threat of severe weather will likely increase throughout the day, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said. Franklin is about 125 miles (200 kilometres) south of Dallas.

Two people were hospitalized for injuries not thought to be life-threatening, while others were treated at the scene for minor injuries, Yezak said. Heavy rain may also lead to localized flash flooding in areas prone to flooding. Some people had to be extricated from their homes.

Meantime a 13-year-old boy drowned in a drainage area in West Monroe, Louisiana, late Saturday afternoon, according to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office.

He said the threat for severe weather is greatest at such times but that the risk remained even after warm temperatures dropped.

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