ONALASKA, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — At least seven people were killed Wednesday after severe storms and tornadoes ripped through parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
In Texas, at least three people were killed and 20 to 30 people were injured when a tornado touched down at about 6 p.m. near Onalaska, about 75 miles north of Houston, the Polk County Emergency Management System said in a statement. The storm rumbled east through Seven Oaks and caused severe damage to homes and other structures, said Carrie Miller, a spokeswoman for Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy.
There was no immediate information on how the victims were killed.
Witnesses told KTRK that the tornado came at them suddenly and left them little time to find shelter.
“We were in the eye because it got, all of a sudden, really calm. We figured we could get in the truck and get away from here, and then all of a sudden here it came,” John Fuller told KTRK. “Limb hit my truck, tore it up. I just bought the thing.”
One of the deaths in Oklahoma was a trailer factory worker whose body was found about a quarter of a mile from his workplace.
The worker was killed in Marshall County, where the storm hit Madill at about 4:30 p.m., causing widespread damage to the town, said Donny Raley, the city’s emergency manager.
The person’s body was found about a fourth of a mile from J&I Manufacturing, a trailer factory outside town where a suspected twister hit just as the workforce was leaving for the day, causing severe damage, Marshall County Emergency Management Director Robert Chaney said. Chaney said he had no other information on the person.
News 9 Oklahoma reports officials said another person was killed from this storm in Madill. Information on that person was not immediately released.
A Louisiana man was found dead after a witness saw him try to retrieve a trash can from water near a drainage ditch; He lost his footing and was swept away by floodwaters, DeSoto Parish Sheriff Jayson Richardson told The Shreveport Times.
A woman was killed on a bridge in Woodworth, Louisiana, 15 miles south of Alexandria, due to the severe weather, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office told KALB-TV.
The sheriff’s office did not provide detail on how she died.
The Alexandria campus of Louisiana State University also saw some damage from the storm. The university tweeted, “All resident students safe. There is damage to DeWitt Livestock building and a camper flipped over.” The campus was also left without power.
The Clarion Ledger reported that storms were moving through Mississippi early Thursday, bringing the threat of tornadoes, flooding and wind surges.
The storms crossed into southwest Mississippi before midnight Wednesday and radar indicated tornado, the Ledger said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in Mississippi early Thursday.
A National Weather Service team will be dispatched to survey damage and to confirm whether the storms were tornadoes.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)