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Storms kill at least 4 people across the South and there are more on the way


By Robert Shackelford, Elizabeth Wolfe and Mary Gilbert, CNN

(CNN) — At least four people are dead after powerful storms tore through the waterlogged and storm-weary South. More storms in the coming days will raise the risk once again of flash flooding, damaging winds and hail over the hard-hit region.

Powerful hurricane-force wind gusts and a possible tornado ripped through Louisiana, killing at least three people there. A woman who was nine months pregnant and her unborn child were killed in West Baton Rouge Parish when a tree fell onto the woman’s mobile home Monday night, according to the state’s department of health. About 45 miles west, a woman was killed in St. Martin Parish after a camper was toppled due to high winds, the state’s department of health confirmed.

Storms were also responsible for killing one person and injuring another in Mississippi, according to the state’s emergency management agency. The person has not been identified and emergency management officials did not release any information about the circumstances of the death in southwestern Mississippi’s Wilkinson County.

More than 100,000 homes and businesses were without power Tuesday from Texas to Florida, according to Louisiana bore the brunt of the outages, with more than 58,000.

The South has been battered by several rounds of rain and severe thunderstorms over the past week. Severe storms moved through Texas and into Louisiana on Sunday, bringing tennis ball-sized hail and damaging winds.

On Monday, powerful winds, hail and tornadoes occurred from eastern Texas to Florida.

On Tuesday, the most significant threat for severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall is expected across northern Florida. Communities there could see damaging wind gusts, hail, rainfall between 3 to 5 inches and even a tornado.

In Tallahassee, officials warned residents to “stay weather aware in the coming days.” The city, Florida’s capital, is still recovering from Friday’s deadly EF2 tornadoes and 100 mph winds which toppled hundreds of power poles and caused widespread damage.

The storms also brought heavy rain to areas that don’t need it. Between 3 and 6 inches of rain fell along the Gulf Coast in a stripe from East Texas to Mississippi and more heavy rain is expected as the storm tracks through the Gulf Coast.

River gauges across eastern Texas and Louisiana are still running high from the rainfall over a week ago, including the Trinity River, which is still in major flood stage northeast of Houston. Several other rivers across both states are at moderate flood stage.

Another significant bout of heavy rain is expected over the same areas Thursday, raising the alarm for forecasters at the Weather Prediction Center who warned “considerable and significant flash flooding” was likely in an area stretching from East Texas across much of Louisiana and into Mississippi.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Joe Sutton, Rebekah Riess and Devon M. Sayers contributed to this report.

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Article Topic Follows: cnn-weather/environment

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