South side of Texas town destroyed by tornado

  • South side of Texas town destroyed by tornado

South side of Texas town destroyed by tornado

Separately, one person died when a auto was submerged in floodwaters in Calhoun, also near Monroe.

Two children died in Texas when a tree fell on a auto in which they were riding, and an elderly man was killed when a tree fell on his trailer in Hamilton, Mississippi.

There was widespread damage in Alto, a town of about 1,200, and the school district canceled classes until its buildings can be inspected to ensure they are safe.

The Storm Prediction Center issued an enhanced risk (level 3 out of 5) stretches from Atlanta to Cleveland on Sunday.

The storms are expected to move through the Augusta area during the afternoon and evening.

Local authorities say the intense tornado that struck the Central Texas town of Franklin destroyed 55 homes, a church, four businesses, a duplex and part of the local housing authority building.

Emergency Management Coordinator Billy Huggins said more than a dozen people were injured in Franklin, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Austin. None of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening.

The Storm Prediction Center said the primary threats in the watch area are for damaging wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour and isolated areas with large hail, up to one inch in diameter. Very heavy rain - capable of producing pockets of flash flooding, damaging wind gusts, hail, and even an isolated, short-lived tornado can not be ruled out. A spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said authorities were in Hamilton and could not be reached for confirmation.

Hamilton is 225 kilometres southwest of Memphis, Tennessee.

A third child, Sebastian Omar Martinez, 13, drowned late on Saturday when he fell into a drainage ditch fill with flash floodwaters near Monroe, Louisiana, said Deputy Glenn Springfield of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office.

A 95-year-old man died after a tree crashed onto his trailer in northeastern Mississippi, Monroe County Road Manager Sonny Clay said at a news conference, adding that a tornado had struck. Nineteen residents were taken to hospitals, including two in critical condition.

But tornadoes aren't the only possible cause of destruction Sunday. A possible tornado knocked out power and left damage in Troy, about 50 miles (80 kilometres) south of Montgomery. Trees were reported down in each location but there were no immediate reports of damage, injuries or fatalities.

The primary severe weather threat on Saturday will be locally strong to damaging wind gusts, according to the National Weather Service. Alto is situated about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Houston.