Three children killed as powerful storms sweep south of the United States

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By Phil Helsel and Amy Calvin

Three children died Saturday in Texas and Louisiana after violent storms, including tornadoes and floods, sweeping the United States, and forecasters warned that bad weather could hit other parts of the southern United States.

In Texas, two children ages 8 and 3 were killed when a tree fell on a car Saturday afternoon, trapping them inside, according to the county sheriff's department. Angelina. They were declared dead on the scene.

In West Monroe, Louisiana, a 13-year-old boy drowned in a drainage area, in an incident that officials consider a weather incident, said Glen Springfield, spokesman for the sheriff's office. the parish of Ouachita.

Several streets were closed in the city of about 13,000 people in the north of the state due to high water, officials said West Monroe. issued a flood warning for the region.

In Franklin, Texas, a tornado hit and destroyed homes on Saturday, injuring about a dozen people described as street wounded and sending two people to emergency rooms, said Robertson County Sheriff Gerald Yezak .

"A bunch of houses on the other side of town has completely disappeared, everything is gone," said Billy Huggins, emergency management coordinator for Robertson County.

The National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth tweeted that after a preliminary assessment of the damage, it was estimated that the tornado in Robertson County had a maximum intensity of EF-3 with winds of 140 mph. The damage study will continue over the next few days, the service announced.

Huggins said he received a call from the National Weather Service at about 11:20 am about a storm system that was on the ground and was heading towards Franklin. "We started trying to make people pay attention, and the situation was changing rapidly and the city had crossed the city," he said.

The weather service said that heavy thunderstorms from east Texas to Arkansas were possible on Saturday, and that the threat of severe weather will affect Sunday the Ohio Valley in the southeastern the United States.

The county of Angelina is located about 200 km north of Houston, and Franklin, a city of about 1,500 inhabitants, about 110 km northwest of Houston.

In Alto, Texas, Marry Lamar, of the Volunteer Fire Department, announced that an alleged tornado would have hit the ground on Saturday and that several people would have been injured. The front wall of a gym in a school was washed away, as were the windows and doors of a fire station, Lamar said.

The video posted on social media showed trees and power lines out of order and damaged homes in the city of just over 1,200 residents.

Meteorologist John Moore said that a possible twist would have landed Saturday in the Vicksburg, Mississippi area, the Associated Press reported. No injuries were reported, but officials said several companies and vehicles were damaged.

A meteorologist from the Alabama Emergency Management Agency warned that "supercells and potential tornadoes" could enter the western part of the state on Sunday.

"Unfortunately, the western half of the state may have some tornadoes before sunrise while many people are in bed," said meteorologist Jim Stefkovich in a statement.

Storm damage in Alto, Texas on April 13, 2019.Andrew Day / via Facebook

In Roberston County, Texas, Huggins, the emergency management coordinator, described Franklin's damage as "devastating." He said everyone was taken into account.

"For this small town in Franklin, the situation is very devastating, we will help people to restore their homes without insurance or what you have, it will be quite difficult," he said. "It will be a bit difficult to put it back, but we will do it."

Austin Mullen and Suzanne Ciechalski contributed.

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