People hunkered down as tornados ripped through parts of the deep south, uprooting trees and destroying homes. Thousands of residents across multiple states have been left sheltering without power due to the severe weather.
Meteorologists warned several states across the southern US of damaging winds, hail stones, flash flooding and numerous, strong tornados as residents hunkered down to avoid the dangerous storms.
A “particularly dangerous situation” tornado watch was issued for Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Oklahoma-based Storm Prediction Centre, the Norman had predicted: “Multiple rounds of severe thunderstorms – some capable of long-tracked tornadoes with EF3+ damage potential – will be possible this afternoon into tonight over parts of the lower Mississippi Valley region and Mid-South.”
An EF3 tornado has winds of up to 165 mph and can easily destroy infrastructure, including homes.
Major cities could be affected by the weather system including Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Birmingham.
Local media reports from Hale County, Alabama suggested at least three homes had been completely destroyed by tornados, with up to 30 others damaged by the twisters.
In the small town of Tchula, Mississippi, hail stones crashed against the windows of City Hall, as the mayor and other residents took cover during a tornado warning. “It was hitting against the window, and you could tell that it was nice-sized balls of it,” Mayor Ann Polk said after the storm passed.
More to follow.