A suspected tornado flipped a mobile home off its foundation Sunday in Louisiana, killing a mother and her three-year-old daughter as a powerful storm system swept through the South, damaging a handful of homes and businesses in Texas.
Parts of Arkansas and Mississippi were also under a threat of tornadoes, thunderstorms, large hail and flash flooding through Sunday night as the severe weather pushed east, forecasters said. Alabama was expected to be in path of the storms on Monday.
An apparent tornado touched down in the rural community of Breaux Bridge, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Baton Rouge, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Maj. Ginny Higgins told The Associated Press. Higgins said the tornado touched down soon after a warning was issued.
“Seconds later it hit,” Higgins said. “It hit the trailer, flipped it and tore its side off. There was a mother and daughter inside and both were killed.”
Higgins said 38-year-old Francine Gotch and three-year-old Neville Alexander were pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses told KLFY that the father was out at the time and returned home to find the bodies amid the splintered debris.
National Weather Service warned that it was a “particularly dangerous situation.”
“The threat doesn’t end today,” said National Weather Service meteorologist John Hart in Oklahoma. “There’s also a significant risk for tomorrow in Mississippi into southern Alabama and so on as the system keeps moving.”
Fire officials in the Texas village of Point Venture said several people witnessed an apparent funnel cloud there Sunday morning. Travis County Emergency Services District 1 Fire Chief Donnie Norman said there were several structures with severe damage.
“There was one home with pretty heavy damage. The roof was completely removed. There was one resident there at the time, but she sustained no major injuries,” Norman said.
A Texas state trooper reported seeing a suspected tornado touch down early Sunday morning near Center Point, Texas, about 55 miles (90 kilometers) northwest of San Antonio, Texas. National Weather Service meteorologist Yvette Benavides said there were no reports of major or structural damage.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said the storms are likely to cause significant wind damage near the Interstate 20 corridor in east Texas and Louisiana throughout the day and into Sunday night. The center said there is a risk of baseball-sized hail and tornadoes, including strong ones, in those areas.