A massive storm system hit parts of Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana this week, bringing flooding, tornadoes, and damaging hail. The powerful storm system appears to be about half the size of Texas when viewed from a satellite.
The storm will continue to impact the region with severe weather and flash flooding, threatening lives and property. According to predictions, about 40 million people are in the path of the severe thunderstorms and flooding downpours, stretching from areas like Houston and Dallas, to New Orleans, all the way east to Memphis, TN and Birmingham, AL.
The main storm responsible for severe weather since Tuesday will cross the Great Lakes and move into Canada by the end of the week, but heavily severe weather, including damaging winds and drenching downpours, will occur in the proximity of the departing storm.
There is Still a Risk of Tornadoes
As the storm moves, there is also still a risk of a few isolated tornadoes over land, although a couple of the tornadoes could be obscured by rain. Isolated tornadoes are the greatest risk in southern Louisiana, southeastern Mississippi, and central and southwestern Alabama.
Seventeen initial tornadoes were reported on Tuesday, as well as four additional tornadoes reported on Wednesday in Texas and Louisiana.
Impact of the Storm System So Far
Flooding caused by the storm system is responsible for the death of one man in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. A man in his 50’s was swept away by raging floodwaters. His body was spotted in Lady Bird Lake and recovered by Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.
Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant has reported that a suspected tornado caused extensive damage to buildings. At least fifty people were displaced and four people were injured in Pine Bluff, Arkansas when the storm hit an apartment complex and caused considerable damage late Wednesday into early Thursday.
Downpours in Texas caused the spilling of more than 180,000 gallons of sewage out of the sanitary sewer system in Baytown.
So far, since Tuesday, the massive storm system has caused power outages for more than 100,000 people. As of Thursday, 37,000 people in Texas and 31,000 in Louisiana are still without power.
Heavy rains hit the Greenville, Mississippi area Thursday, causing significant flooding and prompting water rescues. A flash flood emergency was also declared in Jackson, Mississippi.