The Latest: Death toll rises to 7 in Texas storms
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The Latest: Death toll rises to 7 in Texas storms
The Associated Press
Dec. 27, 2015
The latest developments on the severe storms across the U.S. (all times local):
Three more people are confirmed dead from the storms near Dallas, the latest fatalities located in Collin County.
Sheriff's Deputy Chris Havey gave no other details of the deaths.
Collin County is about 45 miles northeast of Dallas.
The fatalities in Collin County bring to seven the number of confirmed deaths from a series of storms that spawned tornadoes after dark on Saturday evening.
Four people are confirmed killed in vehicle accidents near the intersection of two major highways in Garland, east of Dallas.
Officer Joe Harn, a Garland police spokesman, said Saturday night the four were killed in accidents that occurred during a massive storm, but it's unclear if all four were in the same vehicle or how they died.
A tornado is reported to have gone through the suburb east of Dallas, damaging several homes.
Harn says there are no active rescues underway, though first responders continue to search houses for anyone trapped after the storms passed.
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 a tornado was on the ground south of Dallas.
There were no immediate reports of damage, but National Weather Service Meteorologist Anthony Bain in Fort Worth says that the tornado was confirmed by numerous people on the ground and with video. It was located near the town of Duncanville around Interstate 20.
The tornado's trajectory was headed toward downtown Dallas but WFAA television said that it appeared to have lifted off the ground at it moved north.
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.
James Brown of the Coffee County Emergency Management Agency says volunteers distributed sandbags in Elba, where the Pea River was projected to crest Saturday at 43 feet, about a foot below the levees that protect the area.
Brown says while that height was much too for much comfort, so far the levees were holding.
Emergency officials issued a voluntary evacuation order for the flood-prone community.
About 17 people took safety in a county shelter. Brown said that, according to estimates, more than 100 structures appear to have water damage.
Gov. Robert Bentley will tour the area later in the day.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will tour areas in his state damaged by floods a day after declaring a state of emergency in all counties affected by excessive rain.
The governor's office said in a statement that nearly 200 roads in the state are closed due to flooding.
Bentley will visit, among other places, Elba Elementary School, where dozens of flood victims took shelter Friday night.
Unseasonably warm temperatures across the southeastern U.S. this week spawned severe weather blamed for deaths in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. A total of 15 people were killed.
The Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles are bracing for what National Weather Service forecasters are calling a "historic blizzard."
Between 6 to 15 inches of snow are in the forecast for the region, which includes Amarillo and Lubbock. High winds will drive wind chills as low as 10 below zero and cause low visibility due to blowing and drifting snow.
The blizzard warning for the region takes effect at 6 p.m. Saturday and runs through noon Monday.
Other parts of Texas and Oklahoma, including El Paso, are under winter storm warnings, while North Texas, central Oklahoma and central Kansas are under a winter storm watch.
Widespread rain has prompted flash flood watches in eastern Texas, eastern Oklahoma, most of Arkansas, central and southern Missouri and Illinois and central Indiana.
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for parts of northern Alabama following days of heavy rain and severe weather.
The NWS says moderate flooding is occurring and major flooding is forecast for Big Nance Creek, which runs through the town of Courtland in northern Alabama. The area is about 40 miles east of Huntsville. The creek is not expected to fall below flood stage until early Monday.
A flood warning was also in effect for the Coosa River, swollen by up to 8 inches of rain over the past week. The biggest town threatened by the rise in the Coosa is Gadsden in northeastern Alabama.
The NWS is warning drivers to stay off roads in areas where flooding is expected.