2 People Killed by Suspected Tornado as Storms Rake South

tornado south
The Baxterville, Miss. of home Brian and Penny Templesis, seen Monday, a day after it was struck by a tornado.  (Cam Bonelli/The Clarion-Ledger via AP)

Suspected tornadoes killed at least two people as severe weather blasted a wide area across the Deep South, officials said.

Jerry Oliver Williams, 61, of Henry County, died when the storm struck a rural area about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Coroner Derek Wright said Monday.

The area was under a tornado warning when winds flipped the home Williams shared with his wife and child, Wright said.

“He was in a mobile home, and the mobile home was destroyed by a tornado. He was in the wreckage of the mobile home. His wife and child were with him, and they were OK,” said Wright.

A suspected twister also resulted in one death in Marion County, Mississippi, officials there said. No details were immediately available, but the National Weather Service said it had received reports of large hail, broken power poles and other damage in the area.

The deaths came as firefighters worked through storms to contain a blaze at the main music building at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Authorities haven’t determined the cause of the fire, but it happened while strong storms with lightning were in the area.

Firefighters saved most of the instruments and uniforms belonging to Alabama’s “Million Dollar Band,” Mayor Walt Maddox said in a tweet.

Rainfall totals in excess of 2 inches were widespread, and isolated spots in central Alabama received more than 8 inches of rain in a day, the weather service said.

More than 35,000 homes and businesses in Alabama and Mississippi were still without power around noontime Monday.

The Storm Prediction Center received more than 250 reports of possible tornadoes, high winds, hail and storm damage from east Texas to South Georgia on Sunday. Teams from the National Weather Service will assess tracks to determine where tornadoes struck.

The storms hit a week after a two-day outbreak of more than 100 tornadoes that began Sunday killed at least 36 people across the region.

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