A robust spring storm system that has already injured several people and damaged numerous homes in Texas was expected to move over portions of the Deep South on Tuesday, bringing unsettled weather and the risk for strong tornadoes.
About 2.8 million people in southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi were under a moderate risk for severe weather on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.
Up to fives inches of rain was predicted in the region through Tuesday night, with higher amounts possible in some isolated areas, meteorologists said. The severe weather rolling through the region could produce strong tornadoes, large hail near the size of golf balls and damaging winds up to 70 miles per hour.
By early Tuesday, a variety of weather warnings were blanketing the Central Plains and Deep South. A tornado watch and a flood watch were in effect for portions of eastern Texas into western Louisiana.
A wind advisory covered nearly all of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts of Arkansas and Tennessee.
Weather officials in Louisiana told residents Monday night that it was time to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes sweeping the region.
“There is no safe shelter in a mobile home during a tornado,” the Weather Service in New Orleans said on Twitter. “Seek shelter in a provided space within your mobile home community or seek shelter with friends or family who live nearby in a house or apartment. Last resort is to lie low and flat on the ground.”
As the storms moved east, some state offices in Louisiana were closed Tuesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Twitter. School districts throughout the state also adjusted their schedules, many of them closing for the day or closing early in anticipation of severe weather. Similar school closings were announced in Mississippi.
On Monday, severe weather ripped through Texas, leaving behind a path of destruction.
Several tornadoes were reported in Central Texas beginning in the late afternoon. Winds in and around Austin, the state capital, overturned an 18-wheeler truck. In Elgin, about 25 miles east of the city, a mobile home was tossed onto the top of a building.
Images of destroyed homes, broken trees and streets littered with debris in Jacksboro, about 90 miles northwest of Dallas, circulated widely on social media.
State officials said that several people had been injured while sheltering at home from the storm and that no deaths had been reported so far.
More than 40,000 customers across Texas, mostly in the northeastern part of the state, were without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us, a website that aggregates data from utilities across the United States.
Tornado watches were also in effect until 8 a.m. local time for swaths of Texas that included Houston. Scattered wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour and more tornadoes were possible.