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13 Apr 2020 | 02:50 AM UTC

US: Tornadoes kill eight in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi states on April 12 /update 1

Tornadoes kill eight in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi states on April 12 causing significant infrastructural damage and power outages

environment
transportation
USA

Event

Severe storms are ongoing in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi as of Sunday, April 12. According to the US National Weather Service (NWS), at least 13 tornadoes were recorded, killing at least eight people and leaving many homes and buildings damaged. More than half a million homes and businesses were left without power. Significant damage was also reported at Monroe Regional Airport (MLU), and all flight operations have been suspended until further notice. Mississippi governor Tate Reeves declared a state emergency, after seven fatalities were reported in the state.

On Monday, April 13, the NWS issued tornado watch and warnings for several states, including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and North Carolina. The storms are expected to continue in the southern states into the morning (local time) of Monday, April 13, heading eastward towards northeastern Florida and possibly as far north as southern Pennsylvania and Washington DC. Strong tornadoes, widespread damaging winds, large hail, and flooding rain may accompany the storms. Additionally, flood watches have also been issued for parts of Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, the Carolinas, and possibly Tennessee.

Residual transportation disruptions, hazardous driving conditions, and power outages are expected over the coming hours and days. 

Advice

Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather forecasts, anticipate localized flooding and associated transportation disruptions, and take appropriate precautions. The safest place to be in a building in the event of a tornado is in the basement or ground floor, or in an interior hallway or stairwell. Avoid doors, windows, and walls. If a tornado is approaching, crouch face down as low as possible to the floor and cover your head with your hands, or a mattress if possible, to protect your head from falling debris.