Devasting Southern storms kill at least 6 people
Violent storms continued to tear across the South on Sunday, unleashing tornadoes and floodwaters that have killed at least six people, including three children.
Jace Creel, 3, and Dilynn Creel, 8, were identified as the tragic young brothers crushed to death Saturday in the back of their family’s car by a toppled tree in Lufkin, Texas, about 150 miles southeast of Dallas.
The tree “flattened the car like a pancake,” said Capt. Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office.
Both parents, who were in the front seats, survived without injury.
A GoFundMe page was set up for the family Sunday by a woman named Kirsten Redd, who wrote on Facebook that her son had been “best buds” with Dilynn since they were babies.
“The Creel family lost both boys (Jace and Dilynn) in a storm related accident Saturday,” the GoFundMe request says. “All love, support, and prayers are greatly appreciated!”
Seventeen twisters were reported on Saturday and Sunday across the South.
At least 25 people were hospitalized, including eight in critical condition, when a suspected tornado hit the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site in East Texas during a Native American cultural event in Alto, said Police Chief Jeremy Jackson.
Another tornado flattened nearly all of the south side of the town of Franklin in central Texas, authorities said. The twister’s 140-mph winds decimated 55 homes, a church, four businesses, a duplex and part of a government building.
When the storm moved east to Mississippi, a 95-year-old man died when a tree crashed into his trailer in Monroe County.
A twister struck there, too, sending 19 people to the hospital, including two in critical condition, said Monroe County Road Manager Sonny Clay.
In Louisiana, Sebastian Omar Martinez, 13, drowned in a drainage canal after flash floods Saturday, according to Deputy Glenn Springfield of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department.
Another person, who was not identified, drowned when their car was submerged in the floodwaters near Calhoun in Louisiana.
As the devastating storms moved on to Alabama, a Montgomery County employee died when he was hit by a vehicle at about 2:15 a.m. Sunday.
The worker, who wasn’t identified publicly, had been helping to clear away trees in a Birmingham suburb.
As the massive storm system hit Georgia on Sunday, rain also began pelting the East Coast.
“We’ll be seeing severe weather from Florida to New York, with the most unstable parts so far in Georgia,” said meteorologist David Roth of the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center.