Home News Severe Weather, and Potentially Tornadoes, Headed for Gulf Coast States

Severe Weather, and Potentially Tornadoes, Headed for Gulf Coast States

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Severe Weather, and Potentially Tornadoes, Headed for Gulf Coast States

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A wave of intense weather moving east is expected to bring rounds of severe thunderstorms, with the possibility of strong tornadoes, to the New Orleans area and other parts of the central Gulf Coast on Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

Early Wednesday, more than two million people across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were under a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms. About five million more across a wider area were under an enhanced risk.

The storms approaching the area could dump up to four inches of rain over a short period from northeast Louisiana to southwest Georgia and the Florida panhandle, forecasters predicted.

“Residents and visitors are advised to have multiple ways to receive warnings and never drive through flooded roadways,” the Weather Service said.

While the bulk of the severe weather was expected to begin in the morning hours and run through the afternoon, parts of Mississippi were already reeling from an overnight storm.

At least one tornado was reported in Raymond, Miss., just west of Jackson, the state capital, according to a local news outlet.

Multiple trees and power lines were reported down across neighboring counties. As around 3 a.m. local time, more than 30,000 customers were without power in Mississippi, according to PowerOutage.Us, which aggregates data from utilities across the United States. More than 35,000 more were without power in Louisiana, and about 60,000 in Texas.

The National Weather Service office in New Orleans said on social media that storms moving across the city on Wednesday would approach slowly and that some of the main effects would be heavy rain and flash flooding.

In anticipation of the weather, officials closed City Hall and other city buildings Wednesday. Schools, however, remained open.

Farther north, the Weather Service office in Jackson, Miss., warned residents that damaging winds of up to 70 miles per hour would be possible on Wednesday, along with an increased chance of tornadoes, some strong, and hail.

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