A series of tornadoes hit the states of Mississippi and Tennessee on Wednesday. The latest tornado damage information has at least 20 homes damaged and three people dead in Mississippi alone. Two deaths were reported in Benton County. A 7-year-old boy was found dead in Holly Springs, which sustained significant damage due to severe weather.
Six counties across Mississippi have reportedly been affected by tornadoes, including Coahoma County, where a dog was reportedly found dead in Clarksdale. Bellevue may have received some of the most significant damage, as seven homes were completely destroyed on Wednesday. The city of Ocean Springs experienced widespread power outages that saw 6,000 customers stuck in the dark for part of the evening.
A state of emergency has been declared in Tennessee following similar severe weather patterns that left two dead. Thousands of homes in southern middle Tennessee have similarly been left without power, including over 2,500 in Montgomery County. A man and a woman were found dead in Perry County, prompting the level three state of emergency declaration from Gov. Bill Haslam. Under level three, necessary emergency personnel are activated to help those in need. Tennessee has five emergency statuses with five being normal and one indicating a catastrophic disaster.
Arkansas saw the brunt of the severe weather on Wednesday morning, though no tornadoes were reported. Massive power outages have left hundreds without power into the evening. A woman and her toddler became trapped in a Pope County home after a tree had fallen on the house. Though the toddler was safely rescued the woman was unfortunately found dead.
A tornado struck central Indiana on Wednesday night as well. No fatalities were reported and two buildings were damaged, including an animal hospital. Louisiana had also seen tornadoes with similar strength hit Rapides Parish on Monday. A few people were injured and a trailer was flipped by the strength of the winds. Alexandria Meteorologist Trevor Sonnier states that tornados are not uncommon in the region during this time of year.
Severe weather is expected to affect even more states on Christmas Eve and Christmas, with storm patterns appearing to migrate towards the northeast. The possibility of strong winds and hail are predicted in major metropolitans across the south, including in Atlanta, Birmingham, and Knoxville. There is also a possibility that more tornados will develop as well. As of this writing, tornado watches are still in effect in Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama, and Kentucky. Torrential rain has prompted flood watches to be issued in both North and South Carolina as well as in Georgia.
This story is still developing... Check back for updates.