The National Weather Service has predicted chances of severe thunderstorms across parts of the mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valleys today, which might include large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. Parts of the southeastern United States might also experience severe weather, according to the weather service.
A severe-storm warning was given for New Orleans overnight as more rain moved in and flooding began on some city streets, with reports of 2 to 3 feet of water on roads. A possible tornado touched down in Gentilly, La., early today, while a roof was blown off a house.
About 650 homes were damaged in Tuesday’s tornado outbreak across Texas, according to the American Red Cross. Although there were no fatalities during Tuesday’s dangerous weather, 15 people sought treatment at area hospitals and two were involved in auto accidents, according to ABC News Dallas affiliate WFAA.
Lindsay Enoch’s home was totally destroyed by one of the tornadoes that hit Forney, Texas, Tuesday, but she says she’s grateful that her mother, Sherry, was able to save her 18-month-old son and two other children by climbing into the bathtub.
“She held on to his feet, just by his feet. And the wind kept taking him but she held on to him. And he’s fine. He’s here,” Enoch told ABC News.
Eight Texas counties faced severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The counties include Dallas, Kaufman, Rockwall, Delta, Hopkins, Hunt, Bosque and McLennan counties.
As the twisters continued on their rampage throughout the day Tuesday, more than 28,000 customers were left without power in the area.
Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May, while in the northern U.S. states storms rattle regions from late spring through early summer. April is typically the worst period for the South, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop. Tuesday’s storms were caused by a low-moving storm system centered over northern New Mexico, according to meteorologists.
As a tornado ripped through the operating facility for Schneider National, a trucking company, it tossed 30,000-pound trucks high into the air, spinning them around before smashing them to the ground hundreds of yards away. Flattened and crumpled trailers littered the area in the aftermath of the twister.
Robert Cluck, the mayor of Arlington, Texas, declared a state of emergency to last for up to seven days, citing “widespread and severe damage.”
The city also set up a disaster center. A disaster area was also declared by local officials in Lancaster, Texas, where about 300 homes were damaged.
“I guess ‘shock’ is probably a good word,” Lancaster Mayor Marcus Knight said Tuesday.
American Airlines canceled more than 450 arriving and departing flights at its hub, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, by Tuesday afternoon. Airport spokesman David Magaña told WFAA that more than 110 planes were damaged by hail.
Passengers were sheltered prior to the storm, with care taken to keep them safely away from windows.
At the Texas Rangers stadium, a heavy tarp covering the baseball field for tonight’s exhibition game was whipped around by the force of the storm in a video captured by the team’s catcher, Mike Napoli.
Members of communities across Texas have already mobilized for a clean-up effort in the wake of the storms. The Volunteer Center of North Texas is assembling a Mass Care Task Force to provide manpower.
The American Red Cross has a “Safe and Well” website where members of the community can let friends and family know that they are OK and have survived the storms.