2 fatalities reported in Louisiana, several injured in Texas, after tornadoes tear through South
Multiple violent and deadly tornado-warned storms tore through the southern Plains on Tuesday, injuring at least five and causing severe widespread damage to communities in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
This drone video from storm chaser Mike Scantlin shows significant tornado damage in Wayne, Oklahoma, as local residents begin recovery efforts on Dec. 13.
A marathon of severe weather rampaged through the southern Plains Tuesday, spawning multiple tornadoes, injuring at least five people and claiming the lives of at least two people.
Search and rescue operations continued into Wednesday after a dangerous tornado near Four Forks, Louisiana, which is about 25 miles southwest of Shreveport, killed at least two people. According to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, a young boy was found deceased in a wooded area of Pecan Farms, a town north of Four Forks, after his home was destroyed from the twister. Just after 2 a.m. local time, first responders discovered the body of the boy’s mother under debris located about one street over from where her home was destroyed.
”It's a horrible mess down there … we’re following debris fields trying to find the actual residence, then trying to find if there’s people inside the residence,” Prator told AccuWeather National Reporter Bill Wadell.
A tornado also reportedly destroyed several residences and injured dozens of people in Farmerville, Louisiana, which is about 105 miles northeast of Shreveport.
Portions of North Texas were under a tornado watch early Tuesday morning as the storms began to fire up, tornado warnings following not long after. By 8:15 a.m., local time, Grapevine, Texas, a suburb roughly 20 miles to the northwest of Dallas, was placed under a tornado warning as the storms progressed eastward.
The five injured have since been hospitalized, but none of the injuries sustained had been life-threatening, according to the Grapevine Police Department.
Video from the aftermath showed debris scattered across the road and the shattered windows of a diner as police sirens blared in the background. At least two-thirds of the restaurant's sign still clung to the post, the remaining portion crumpled on the ground.
After major structural damage, several businesses closed for the day, including the Walmart and Grapevine Mills Mall. Photos showed the interior of a local Sam's Club, where a section of the metal roof had been torn off.
"The first area of impact occurred just off of SH-26 and SH-114, at the Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenter," Grapevine Police Department Media Manager Amanda McNew told AccuWeather in a statement. "Other nearby businesses were also hit as the storm traveled east along Northwest Highway, downing power lines and uprooting trees, before causing damage to the city service center and Grapevine Mills Mall."
The tornado in Grapevine, Texas, was one in a series of twisters to strike Tarrant County, according to preliminary findings. Storm surveys from the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth confirmed four tornadoes -- two EF0 and two EF1 tornadoes -- had carved a discontinuous damage track from the joint reserve base in Fort Worth to Grapevine. An EF2 tornado was confirmed in Wise Count, and tracked just south of Decatur, Texas. In total, eight tornadoes have been confirmed in this region of Texas with damage surveys ongoing.
Earlier Tuesday morning, an EF2 tornado touched down in Wayne, Oklahoma, located about 43 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, before 5:30 a.m. local time, scattering debris across the area. No injuries have been reported from the tornado as of Wednesday morning, but the violent twister reportedly tore through several homes.
Power outages across Oklahoma were below 1,000 as of Tuesday afternoon, with the majority located in McClain County, where Wayne is located. By Wednesday morning, the number of power outages had dwindled as crews had time to venture out and repair damage left in the wake of the storms. In Texas, over 15,000 customers were without power on Tuesday afternoon, with 5,000 in Tarrant County, where Grapevine is located, according to PowerOutage.US. That number fell to nearly 2,000 without power statewide and over 500 without power in Tarrant County by Tuesday evening.
At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Tuesday, over 990 flights to and from the airport -- consisting of 63% of the departures and 43% of the arrivals -- have been delayed, according to FlightAware.
The severe weather will continue to roll eastward into Wednesday evening, pushing into Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi -- states that were hit rather hard at the end of November by another tornado outbreak that claimed two lives.
AccuWeather meteorologists warn the greatest risk of severe weather on Wednesday will focus from southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi to southern Alabama and the western portion of the Florida Panhandle.
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