At Least 3 Children Dead After Series of Tornadoes Devastate Southern U.S., From Texas to Alabama
Over the weekend, a series of deadly tornadoes struck the Southern part of the United States, which have resulted in at least 7 deaths
At least seven people, including three children, have been killed after a series of devastating tornadoes swept through the South.
Over the weekend, a total of 17 tornadoes were reported hitting states from Texas to Alabama, the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center Bob Oravec told Reuters. The number of tornadoes has not officially been confirmed.
In Texas, two children died after a tree fell on their car.
According to a statement by the Angelina County Sheriff’s Department, at 2:13 p.m. on Saturday, police responded to a call “about a tree that had fallen on a car.”
After arriving at the scene, police were able to determine “that two children age 8 and 3 were trapped in the back seat of the car under the tree.” However, although police were able to remove both children from the vehicle, they were pronounced dead at the scene.
Although the sheriff’s department has not identified the victims, Central Elementary Principal Anita Byrd shared on Facebook that the 8-year-old boy was a 2nd grade student at her school.
Public Information Officer Glenn Springfield also confirmed to PEOPLE that over the weekend, a 13-year-old boy died in West Monroe, Louisiana, after drowning in a drainage area.
On Sunday, the victim was identified by the police as Sebastian Omar Martinez. His death is still under investigation.
There has been one additional confirmed fatality in Ouachita Parish.
Around 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, “deputies responded to a report of a submerged vehicle in floodwater” in Calhoun County,” Springfield told PEOPLE in a statement.
“Deputies located the vehicle submerged in the floodwater with the deceased victim inside. An investigation into the accident is underway. The identity of the victim is not being released at this time pending notification of relatives,” he said.
The Houston County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed to PEOPLE that a 70-year-old woman, whom police have identified as Kathryn Baxter, died in her home located in the eastern part of Houston County, Texas, from storm-related debris.
The Washington Post went on to report that an elderly man was killed “when a tree fell on his trailer in Hamilton, Mississippi.”
According to the Post, an employee for Jefferson County in Alabama was also killed around 2:15 a.m. after “being struck by a vehicle while he was helping clear away trees toppled by the storm.” His name has yet to be released.
RELATED VIDEO: 23 Dead After Powerful Tornado Rips Through Southeast Alabama: ‘The Devastation Is Incredible’
The extent of the series of tornadoes and the devastation from the series of tornadoes are currently unknown.
According to the Post, a tornado that struck the Central Texas town of Franklin destroyed 55 homes, and injured over a dozen people.
“A strip of homes on the other side of town over here are completely gone, just gone, everything is gone,” Robertson County Emergency Management Coordinator Billy Huggins told NBC News.
Both Franklin and a neighboring town lost electricity as a result of the storm, leaving 3,088 customers without power on Sunday, reported CNN.
The National Weather Service of Fort Worth went on to rate the tornado an EF-3, with 140 mph winds.
In the town of Alto, Texas, which is 130 miles southeast of Dallas, 25 people were hospitalized or their injuries after a reported tornado struck the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, where individuals had been gathered for a Native American cultural event, according to the Post. The outlet went on to report that eight of the victims were critically injured.
Mississippi’s Monroe County was also hit hard, as multiple homes as well as the local fire station were destroyed, reported CNN.
“We were hit really, really, hard. We have a lot of flooding. There are several trees down. We are just a mess,” Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell told the outlet.
Monroe County Fire Coordinator Terry Tucker confirmed to PEOPLE that a man in his mid-to-late 80s died and 10 others were injured.
ABC News went on to report that 150,000 customers have been left without power in Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana as a result of the storms.
Severe weather is continued to be forecast through the weekend as storms spread to eastward, according to AccuWeather.com.