Deadly storms batter southern U.S.

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Alto, Texas

Severe storms struck in Georgia Sunday, part of a storm system that proved devastating in parts of the South. At least eight people were killed in four states as the dangerous weather system battered the region.

MORE: Severe weather causes damage in parts of north Georgia

In Louisiana, Deputy Glenn Springfield of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department said Sunday that two people died in floodwaters Saturday. He said 13-year-old Sebastian Omar Martinez died during flash flooding in the community of Bawcomville, near Monroe. Responders pulled him from a drainage canal. Several hours later, a person died in a submerged vehicle near Interstate 20 in Calhoun.

A county employee in Alabama died after being struck by a vehicle while he was helping clear away trees toppled by the storm. Capt. David Agee of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says the worker was struck about 2:15 a.m. Sunday near in the Birmingham suburb of Hueytown and died after being taken to a hospital. His name was not immediately released.

Two children died in Texas when a tree fell on a car in which they were riding, and an elderly man was killed when a tree fell on his trailer in Hamilton, Mississippi.


Authorities say one person died and at least 25 people were taken to hospitals for treatment in East Texas after a suspected tornado struck the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. Police Chief Jeremy Jackson says the injuries occurred during a Native American cultural event in Alto, Texas. Alto is about 130 miles southeast of Dallas. 

Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell says at least eight of those were injured critically. Damage to the town's schools prompted the Alto Independent School District has canceled all classes until its buildings have been found to be safe.


The National Weather Service was sending a survey team to Alto on Sunday to confirm if the storm was, indeed, a tornado. However, the area had been under a tornado warning at the time the storm hit.

In neighboring Houston County, the sheriff's office has confirmed one person was killed in Weches, some 6 miles southwest of Caddo Mound.

Local authorities say the intense tornado that struck the Central Texas town of Franklin destroyed 55 homes, a church, four businesses, a duplex and part of the local housing authority building. Robertson County Judge Charles Ellison told KBTX-TV of Bryan-College Station that the south side of the town of about 1,700 residents is destroyed.

Emergency Management Coordinator Billy Huggins said more than a dozen people were injured in Franklin, about 100 miles northeast of Austin. None of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening.
The National Weather Service rated the tornado EF-3 with winds of about 140 mph.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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