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Tornado Touches Down In Texas As Severe Storm System Threatens Southeast

Tornado Touches Down In Texas As Severe Storm System Threatens Southeast

In East Texas, the Angelina County Sheriff's Office said an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old died when strong winds toppled a tree onto the back of their family's vehicle in Lufkin while it was in motion.

The first severe storms were expected during lunchtime Saturday into late afternoon across East Texas, Louisiana, southern Arkansas and eastern Mississippi.

Two children, ages 3 and 8, were killed when a tree fell on their auto as storms hammered east Texas. Alton Lenderman said the parents, who were in the front seats, were not injured.

On Saturday night, the National Weather Service said the Franklin tornado, which tore up more than half the southern part of the city, was an EF-3 tornado with winds of 140 miles per hour.

Powerful storms that rolled across the South on Saturday spawned at least two suspected tornadoes, damaged homes and killed two children in Texas, authorities said.

On Saturday morning, the storm system dropped large hail ranging from the size of golf balls to baseballs on a broad swath of Texas from San Antonio to Dallas. Franklin is located about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Dallas.

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center is cautioning that, "Strong tornadoes are possible today into tonight from east Texas into MS, with the greatest threat expected between 2PM-8PM CDT".

Meteorologist John Moore said a possible twister touched down Saturday in the Vicksburg, Mississippi, area.

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Robertson County Texas Sheriff Gerald Yezak (YEZ'-ik) told The Associated Press that a suspected tornado hit Franklin on Saturday, overturning mobile homes and damaging other residences.

Two people were taken to a hospital with injuries that aren't thought to be life-threatening, Yezak said.

The National Weather Service in Memphis, Tennessee said in addition to the fatalities, rescue efforts are underway with entrapments reported. Winds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kph) were reported Saturday in Cherokee County, damaging two homes in Alto (AL'-toh) but not injuring anyone.

Tornado watches were in effect for large parts of East Texas and Louisiana on Saturday afternoon.

Tornadoes embedded in the storms pose a significant risk overnight since they are hard to see and people are less likely to receive warnings while they're asleep, Van Dam said.

The National Weather Service in Jackson canceled a tornado watch early Sunday, saying no additional serve weather was expected. Alto is situated about 225 kilometres north of Houston.

According to officials, about 4,000 in Franklin have been left without power as a result of the storm.