Deputies respond to damage caused by tornado at mobile home park east of Dallas
By The Associated Press
The latest developments on the severe storms across the U.S. (all times local):
An official with the Dallas County Sheriff’s office says deputies are responding to damages caused by a tornado east of Dallas, including a trailer park ablaze.
Spokeswoman Melinda Urbina said while several emergency teams had been dispatched to Sunnyvale, just east of the Dallas city limits, following reports of trailers on fire and possible injuries in a mobile home park.
Urbina said the extent of the damage was still uncertain but that nearby roads had been shut due to debris and that the damage to the homes was likely extensive enough to render some “inhabitable.” The Red Cross was also responding to the scene, she said, and trees were down.
The emergency manager for a county south of Dallas says some homes have been destroyed and damaged during a fierce storm that spawned tornadoes in the area.
Stephanie Parker is the emergency manager for Ellis County, which is about 30 miles south of Dallas. She posted on twitter: “We have destroyed and damaged homes. Please do not get out on the roads if you do not have to.”
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth confirmed that a tornado touched down south of Dallas earlier this evening. No other details of damage were immediately available.
The National Weather Service says the Dallas area is under a tornado warning until 6:45 p.m.
An Associated Press reporter says warning sirens went off in the downtown area of Dallas.
At Love Field, a major airport in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the public address system warned people to move away from windows in the concourse area.
Inmates from an Alabama correctional facility were evacuated as a precaution to potential flooding caused by the recent heavy rainfall.
Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton says 336 inmates were evacuated from the Red Eagle Community Work Center around 12:30 a.m. Saturday. Horton says the inmates were cooperative and moved to three state correctional facilities in Elmore County.
Red Eagle is a minimum security correctional facility and is located three miles north of Montgomery near the Tallapoosa River.
The National Weather Service says the river had exceeded a flood stage of 25 feet to 33.5 feet by 8 a.m. Saturday. The NWS has extended the flood warning for the area until Monday afternoon.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley praised efforts to restore and improve the levee system while touring the town of Elba, which was affected by flooding.
Bentley visited the town in southern Alabama on Saturday and stopped in at Elba Elementary, where people had taken shelter from the flood waters. He says the levees are expected to withstand the river crest.
The tiny, flood-prone Alabama town was underwater in 1929, which led to the constructions of levees for protection. The city flooded again in 1990 when rising waters overwhelmed levees and again in 1998 when a levee failed under pressure from flood waters.
Bentley declared a state of emergency Friday amid widespread flash flooding that follows several days of intense weather throughout the Southeast.
Mississippi’s death toll from this week’s storms has climbed to 10.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn confirms two bodies were found Saturday morning in Benton County. He says the bodies were those of two people authorities had been searching for since tornadoes touched down Wednesday.
Further details on where or how the bodies were discovered were not immediately available.
Unseasonably warm temperatures across the southeastern U.S. this week spawned severe weather blamed for deaths in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. A total of 17 people have been killed.
Volunteers are distributing sandbags in the town of Elba, Alabama, as flooding remained a major concern after severe storms battered the state.