A series of severe tornadoes pummeled the South this weekend, killing three people in Texas and Mississippi, according to Fox News. Now, the storms have moved on to the mid-Atlantic.
Two of those killed were children, one 8-year-old and one 3-year-old, who were in the back seat of a car when a tree fell on them. Their parents in the front seat were not harmed. The family was driving near Pollok, TX.
“They were at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Capt. Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office told the New York Times “The tree fell just as they were going under it.”
A Mississippi man in his 90's also died when a tree fell on his trailer.
The tornadoes originated in a storm that hit much of the mid-Atlantic today, battering the Appalachian region. On Sunday morning, more than 140,000 customers were without power in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
“We’re talking about tens of millions of people with some stormy weather before this Sunday is over,” Fox News meteorologist Adam Klotz said.
The tornadoes damaged homes and businesses in areas including Robertson County, TX and Monroe County and Warren County, MS. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency.
One of the hardest hit towns was Franklin, TX, where at least 55 homes and several businesses were destroyed. Franklin Police Chief Terry Thibodeaux told KWTX that the damage was “hard to describe,” but looked like the results of a bomb explosion. County Judge Charles Ellison told KWTX that the south side of town was “totally destroyed.
In the small town of Hamilton, MS, 19 people were taken to the hospital, some in critical condition. The tornado destroyed the town’s only fire station.
“We took a direct hit,” a firefighter said, local fire coordinator Terry Tucker told CNN. “The fire station [is] gone.”
“It’s hard to fathom, the fire department is gone,” Tucker told CNN. “The people will have a long recovery. The fire department basically has to start over. They have good manpower but they have to start the station all over.”
The nearest station is now 14 miles away.
Another tornado hit the town of Shelby, OH on Sunday, and there were warnings of possible tornadoes in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Last month, a series of tornadoes hit Alabama, killing nearly two dozen people and destroying homes in several communities. The state recorded a total of 37 tornadoes in the first three months of 2019 alone.