(CNN) – Severe weather bringing strong winds and potential flooding is battering the Southeast, with a tornado in Louisiana claiming two lives Sunday morning.
A 38-year-old woman and her daughter, 3, died when the tornado with winds of 100 mph blew their mobile home off its foundations in St. Martin Parish, the National Weather Service and local sheriff’s office said.
Strong storms could still produce tornadoes in the area from southeastern Louisiana into central and southern Mississippi overnight, before moving further east early Monday, CNN Meteorologist Michael Guy said.
There is also a considerable threat of flash flooding from east Texas into Louisiana over into Mississippi, Guy said:
“Some areas have already seen over 5 inches (13 cm) with these severe storms (Sunday) in Louisiana, and the storms are slow moving. Rainfall could exceed up to another 3-6 inches locally in some areas causing flash flooding into the morning hours.”
There had already been flooding and wind damage in central Mississippi with water rescues in the Vicksburg area, National Weather Service (NWS) Jackson office Meteorologist Daniel Lamb told CNN.
He said that the Big Black River was rising quickly in Mississippi’s Bovina community and water had also entered homes around Pearl.
Meanwhile, at least three tornadoes had occurred in northeast Louisiana and 15 structures had been damaged in Franklin Parish, Lamb said.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Service said “damaging winds, possibly widespread and significant” were anticipated through much of the region from southern Mississippi into South Carolina but that that Alabama would be at greatest risk of tornadoes overnight.
The state’s southwest would be at risk of tornadoes from around 8 a.m. until midday Monday before the storms moved into southeastern Alabama and and parts of western Georgia, Guy said.
Four school districts in Southern Alabama said they would close Monday in anticipation of the severe weather.
Baldwin County Public Schools, Monroe County Public Schools, Mobile County Public Schools and Chickasaw City Schools said they would be shut. Coastal Alabama Community college also said it would be closed and the University of Mobile said it would not open until 6 p.m.
Guy said the severe weather threat also extended over into northern Georgia and South Carolina, where storms would begin hitting from midday through Monday evening.
“These storms can be severe and could spawn tornadoes, hail, and strong winds. Heavy rain with flash flooding is possible and frequent lightning can also be expected,” Guy said.
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