Storms batter South, kill 2 in Mississippi, 1 in Alabama

Jacqualynn Qualls
Jacqualynn Qualls, left, gathers her clothes from her undamaged room in her Learned, Miss., home, Thursday, April 18, 2019, after a oak tree demolished her brother’s room, bathroom and much of the living quarters. Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, topping trees and leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)
Jacqualynn Qualls
Jacqualynn Qualls calls to her mother in the tree-damaged living room of their Learned, Miss., home, following severe weather that hit the small community, Thursday, April 18, 2019. Several homes were damaged by fallen trees in the tree lined community. Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, topping trees and leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)
Josephinne Qualls
Josephinne Qualls calls to her daughter as she tries to salvage her clothes in the tree-damaged Learned, Miss., home, following severe weather that hit the small community, Thursday, April 18, 2019. Several homes were damaged by fallen trees in the tree lined community. Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, topping trees and leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)
Josephinne Qualls
Josephinne Qualls calls to her daughter as she tries to salvage her clothes in the tree-damaged Learned, Miss., home, following severe weather that hit the small community, Thursday, April 18, 2019. Several homes were damaged by fallen trees in the tree lined community. Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, topping trees and leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)
A uprooted oak tree pokes through the ceiling of a Learned, Miss., home, following severe weather that hit the small community, Thursday, April 18, 2019. Several homes were damaged by fallen trees in the tree lined community. Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, topping trees and leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
A uprooted oak tree pokes through the ceiling of a Learned, Miss., home, following severe weather that hit the small community, Thursday, April 18, 2019. Several homes were damaged by fallen trees in the tree lined community. Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, topping trees and leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)
Sonya Banes
Sonya Banes looks at damage caused by a large oak tree that crashed through the ceiling of her mother’s house in Learned, Miss., Thursday, April 18, 2019. Several homes were damaged by fallen trees in the tree lined community. Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, topping trees and leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)
Hannah Claire
Fallen trees line the roads leading into the small community of Learned, Miss., Thursday, April 18, 2019. Several homes were damaged by fallen trees in the tree lined community. Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, topping trees and leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)
A thunderstorm moves across John Redmond Reservoir near Burlington, Kan., Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Several thunderstorms turned severe as they moved through the area. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A thunderstorm moves across John Redmond Reservoir near Burlington, Kan., Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Several thunderstorms turned severe as they moved through the area. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) (AP/Orlin Wagner)
Pat McGuffie speaks with Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves about the damage at his home in Warren County, Miss., Tuesday, April 16, 2019, following Saturday evening's tornados that swept through Vicksburg and Warren County. (Courtland Wells/The Vicksburg Post via AP)
Pat McGuffie speaks with Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves about the damage at his home in Warren County, Miss., Tuesday, April 16, 2019, following Saturday evening’s tornados that swept through Vicksburg and Warren County. (Courtland Wells/The Vicksburg Post via AP) (AP/Courtland Wells)
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Jacqualynn Qualls
Jacqualynn Qualls
Josephinne Qualls
Josephinne Qualls
A uprooted oak tree pokes through the ceiling of a Learned, Miss., home, following severe weather that hit the small community, Thursday, April 18, 2019. Several homes were damaged by fallen trees in the tree lined community. Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, topping trees and leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Sonya Banes
Hannah Claire
A thunderstorm moves across John Redmond Reservoir near Burlington, Kan., Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Several thunderstorms turned severe as they moved through the area. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Pat McGuffie speaks with Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves about the damage at his home in Warren County, Miss., Tuesday, April 16, 2019, following Saturday evening's tornados that swept through Vicksburg and Warren County. (Courtland Wells/The Vicksburg Post via AP)

LEARNED, Miss. (AP) — Strong storms again roared across the South on Thursday, killing two Mississippi drivers and a woman in Alabama while leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

National Weather Service forecasters said they believe multiple tornadoes hit southwest and central Mississippi, although they won’t be sure until damage is surveyed. Heavy winds also were reported in Louisiana earlier in the day and in central Alabama as the system quickly pushed eastward. Forecasters predicted the system would push into Georgia before sunrise.

On the back side of the system, there were also reports late Thursday of high winds in southern Oklahoma.

A Mississippi man was killed Thursday afternoon when his car hit a tree on a highway south of Philadelphia, Mississippi, Neshoba County Coroner John Stephens told local news outlets. Stephens did not immediately release the man’s name.

Kenderick Magee, 24, was also killed while driving in the storm, WLBT-TV reported. Magee fatally crashed near the rural town of Gillsburg in southwest Mississippi, Amite County Coroner Campbell Sharp said.

Two minor injuries were reported in Harvey, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, when a power pole fell on two vehicles.

Alabama authorities said a woman was killed Thursday night after strong storms knocked a tree onto her mobile home in St Clair County. Emergency crews found 42-year-old Monica Clements dead inside the home. Clements’ 10-year-old son suffered minor injuries.

Damage was heavy in the Mississippi hamlet of Learned, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Jackson. Large oaks were uprooted from saturated ground, landing on at least a dozen houses.

One belongs to the family of Jesse Qualls, a Mississippi State University student who was on his way home for Easter when the storms hit. He says his mother had gone to pick up his sister from school and returned to find a pecan tree had crashed through Qualls’ bedroom and bathroom. His dog Dukey was uninjured.

Qualls said he got a tearful call from his mother, but he struggled to make it home, using his truck to push fallen trees off roads leading into town.

“I saw the house and I started freaking out,” Qualls said, as residents and emergency workers sawed up other trees off streets in the 100-resident town. “My dad passed away a while ago and this is all I have left of him.”

Qualls, though, said his family will be fine and the storm is likely to spark a long-delayed renovation.

“We’ve got a lot of people to help,” Qualls said. He said his family likely would stay with relatives in nearby Clinton, where two cars were flipped in a Walmart parking lot.

To the northeast, Scott County Emergency Management Director Mike Marlow said reports indicated a number of homes were damaged near Morton and the roof blew off a gas station near Lena. In Philadelphia, Mississippi, a wall collapsed at a medical clinic and the storm knocked down traffic signals and canopies and pushed trees onto houses, the Neshoba Democrat reported.

Damage from the storm system was reported in at least 24 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.

Schools and colleges sent students home early across much of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In Jackson, state Auditor Shad White said his staff huddled in a stairway in a high-rise state office building while tornado sirens wailed, winds howled and rains poured. Spokeswoman Cathy Hayden said employees at Hinds Community College in Raymond hid in an underground bookstore storage room.

The same system produced tornadoes and hail earlier in North Texas, the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas.

Seven tornadoes were reported across the Plains from the northeastern Texas Panhandle to southeastern Kansas. Strong winds hit elsewhere Wednesday evening, toppling utility poles and trees and downing power lines in parts of North Texas.

No significant structural damage was reported, but heavy rainfall caused flash flooding that prompted the shutdown of Interstate 30 in central Arkansas and the closure of several schools around Little Rock.

The National Weather Service received numerous reports of hail pelting the storm-struck areas. Egg-size hail was reported about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Fort Worth.

The threat came days after more than 40 tornadoes from East Texas to Georgia left at least nine dead. That outbreak damaged more than 250 homes, businesses and public buildings across Mississippi.

___

Amy reported from Jackson, Mississippi.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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