Tornadoes Rip Across Southeast, Leave 4 Dead

A series of severe storms – including tornadoes – touched down in three southern states Tuesday, killing four people, damaging homes and businesses, flipping cars, knocking down trees, and downing power lines.

While snow fell in some Midwestern states Tuesday – nearly 2 feet in South Dakota’s Black Hills – a strong storm system expected to drop rain along the East Coast and snow from Missouri to Michigan developed in Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana, among other southern states. The severe storms in the South killed at least four people.

The worst damage appears to be from a twister that roared through southern Mississppi.

The roof was ripped off a day care center this afternoon as a tornado ripped through Sumrall, Miss., the Hattiesburg American said. All the children are safe.

In Marion County, some people are still trapped inside their homes near U.S. 98 and Mississippi 13, said Aaron Greer of Marion County Emergency Management. Trees and power lines also are down in the area.

Two other tornadoes have been reported so far today, one in southern Georgia and one in eastern Louisiana, the Storm Prediction Center said.

A tornado watch remains in effect in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, meaning conditions are ripe for tornadoes to form.Cities such as New Orleans, Mobile and Tallahassee remain at greatest risk of severe storms.

The heavy rain could lead to flooding in some areas causing damage that will need to be repaired by Houston Restoration Services, the National Weather Service said. A flash flood watch is in effect through Wednesday night in northern Florida, southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama.

More than 3 inches of rain has been recorded so far today in Tallahassee, according to WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue.

Elsewhere across the country, low clouds, showers and fog were causing travel delays at airports in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

On Wednesday, Christmas Eve, rain, thunderstorms and wind will envelop much of the East Coast, including the Interstate 95 corridor, the Weather Channel said. Despite the rain, record high temperatures in the 50s and 60s are possible from Boston to Washington.

Snow will be a travel issue across Michigan, Illinois, eastern Missouri and northwestern Indiana, AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

By Thursday (Christmas Day), howling winds will be the main issue for much of the Great Lakes and Northeast, though a few snow flurries are possible across the area.

In the West, a winter storm will move into the Rockies on Christmas Day. bringing snow to Salt Lake City and Denver, according to The Weather Channel.

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