Six dead, hundreds of homes damaged as tornadoes strike Mississippi, Louisiana

Between 200 and 300 homes were damaged in Monroe City. Photo courtesy of Monroe City/Facebook

April 13 (UPI) — Several tornadoes struck the Deep South on Easter Sunday, killing at least six people in Mississippi and damaging hundreds of homes in Louisiana as a severe storm system passed through the southern states.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Greg Michel confirmed at least six people died from the storms with one in Walthall County, two in Lawrence County and three in Jefferson Davis County.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency.

“This is not how anyone wants to celebrate Easter Sunday,” he said via Twitter. “As we reflect on the death and resurrection on this Easter Sunday, we have faith that we will all rise together.”

Several tornado, severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings have been issued throughout the state, according to the National Weather Service.

In Louisiana, between 200 and 300 homes were damaged in Monroe City, Mayor Jamie Mayo said during a press conference.

“It’s been a major tornado, a tornado that has damaged a lot of property, a lot of structural damages, a lot of major power lines that’s down as well as a lot of trees that’s down so we have said to our citizens make sure they are careful,” he said, urging the public to stay home to prevent further injuries, though there have been zero reported deaths.

At the Monroe airport, planes, airfields and hangars have also sustained damage, he said, and Monroe Regional Airport Director Ron Phillips announced in a notice that all flights have been canceled until further notice.

Some 7,000 people in Monroe were without power, the city reported.

Louisiana Gov. John Del Edwards said he declared a state of emergency as the damage has been “devastating.”

“Sunday’s severe weather impacted multiple parishes, with reported tornadoes and hail,” he said via Twitter. “I am declaring this emergency in order to make sure the impacted parishes and any additional areas that may see severe weather into the night are able to get assistance.”

The National Weather Service reported an emergency for Monroe and the surrounding communities at 11:44 a.m. CDT as a confirmed “damaging” tornado was hitting the area, according to

The City of Monroe’s confirmed reports of wind damage in multiple neighborhoods, including downed power lines, as well as office buildings in the airport complex. All flights were canceled “until further notice,” according to a Twitter post by the city.

Trees were sheared and all the doors were ripped off the public service department building in Benton, about 100 miles west of Monroe.

Tornadoes also were reported in Lincoln, Bienville, DeSoto and Webster parishes in Louisiana, according to the NWS in a report by the Shreveport Times.

More than 42,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana were without electricity as of 2:15 p.m. CDT, according to

The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness reported “a line of severe thunderstorms” accompanied by hail, heavy rainfall, wind gusts up to 60 mph, flash flooding and tornadoes moved across the state Sunday, causing damage to multiple parishes, including Ouachita, Bossier and DeSoto.

The NWS also confirmed tornadoes in central Texas and southern Mississippi.

More than 15,000 customers in Texas were without power. Hail as big as a baseball was reported in eastern Texas in Del Rio, according to KTXS-TV.

“A powerful and destructive storm is expected to spread severe weather from the southern Plains to the Northeast this Easter weekend,” said AccuWeather

The NWS said worse weather was forecast for more than 5.8 million people who live in the area that includes Birmingham, Ala., and Jackson, Miss.

“Please take today’s severe storms very seriously. The NWS just issued a solemn, rare warning: a “PDS” (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch for north central MS until 8 p.m.,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves posted on Facebook. “Please take precautions to keep your family safe. We are working and watching closely. Stay safe and God bless.”


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