The Latest: Possible tornado touches down in Mississippi


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The latest on severe weather in the southern U.S. (all times local):

9:35 a.m.

The National Weather Service office in Jackson, Mississippi, says a possible tornado touched down Thursday morning in Lamar County.

Meteorologist Joanne Culin says trees are down in two areas of Purvis and one crashed into a house.

There were no reports of injuries.

Culin said radar picked up rotation in a storm moving over Purvis at the time of the reported damage.

She says a team will be sent out in the coming days to survey the damage and determine if it was caused by a tornado.

Culin says the afternoon heat is expected to fire up a new round of storms Thursday. The area north of Interstate 20 may see strong tornadoes and baseball size hail.

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8:25 a.m.

Forecasters have issued a flash flood watch covering much of Georgia through Friday evening as a system of severe storms moves across the South.

The National Weather Service says up to 3.5 inches of rain is expected in parts of north and western Georgia on Thursday night through Friday, with some spots getting even higher amounts of rain.

Forecasters say they expect some of the heaviest rains — which could total more than 4 inches — in an area south and southwest of Macon.

The weather service says isolated flash flooding will be possible if multiple storms move over the same areas.

Forecasters say that in Georgia, the northwest corner of the state will be at highest risk for tornadoes Thursday.

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7:30 a.m.

Forecasters are warning of possible tornadoes in parts of Mississippi and Alabama on Thursday.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center released a weather update Thursday morning, saying the greatest threat of tornadoes and large hail will be in northern Mississippi and Alabama, along with parts of Tennessee and southern Kentucky.

Severe thunderstorms are already moving across the lower Mississippi River Valley, bringing hail and damaging winds. The National Weather Service says the heavy rain may produce flash flooding in some areas.

Forecasters say more than 8 million people will be at an “enhanced” risk of severe weather in parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.

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7:10 a.m.

More thunderstorms are in the forecast Thursday in Arkansas, a day after heavy rainfall inundated streets and roads statewide and flooded a lecture hall in a Little Rock art museum.

The National Weather Service says many areas received 4 inches or more of rain on Wednesday. A flash flood emergency was issued Wednesday night in Jonesboro after water inundated many city streets.

No injuries or deaths have been reported.

In Little Rock, heavy rains poured through the roof of the Arkansas Arts Center, flooding a lecture hall and knocking down ceiling tiles. Museum officials say none of the artwork was damaged except for a paper frame that surrounded a painting.

The museum in downtown Little Rock houses works by Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Diego Rivera and Andy Warhol, among others.

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6:55 a.m.

One injury has been reported after a suspected tornado hit the southeastern Arkansas town of Dermott.

The National Weather Service says heavy damage, including downed trees and power lines, was reported after severe weather swept through the town about 115 miles southeast of Little Rock late Wednesday.

There were no immediate details about the severity of the person’s injury, which was reported to the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi.

Earlier in the day, an American Airlines flight traveling from Dallas to Memphis, Tennessee, was forced to make an emergency landing in Little Rock because of the stormy weather. American Airlines says the plane landed safely, but two flight attendants suffered minor injuries and were taken to a Little Rock hospital.

No passengers were hurt.

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6:30 a.m.

Severe thunderstorms are moving across the lower Mississippi River Valley, bringing hail, damaging winds and the threat of some tornadoes.

The National Weather Service says the heavy rain may produce flash flooding in some areas Thursday.

Forecaster Cynthia Palmer in Shreveport, Louisiana, says strong winds downed trees over a highway in Union and Bienville parishes Wednesday night.

Palmer says flash flooding in the same area closed several roads. She says the rain totaled between 4 to 6 inches.

In Wilkinson County, Mississippi, hail the size of golf balls was reported in two locations, while strong winds damaged trees about 9 miles west of Woodville.

Forecasters are predicting more of the same for Louisiana and Mississippi on Thursday.

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4:55 a.m.

Authorities say at least seven people were injured after severe storms spawned multiple tornado touchdowns in northeastern Oklahoma.

National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Jankowski said a tornado touched down and lifted up numerous times Wednesday night as it swept through the northern Tulsa and Owasso areas.

Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Stan May says about a square mile of a mostly residential area sustained damage. He says one home was destroyed and other residences and businesses sustained roof and structural damage.

Emergency Medical Services Authority, an ambulance service provider, said it transported seven patients to a hospital. Spokeswoman Kelli Bruer said one was in critical condition and several were in serious condition.