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Storms cause major tornadoes, flooding around the South

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Residents in several towns across Louisiana and Mississippi took cover as tornado sirens blared late Tuesday, and forecasters warned of the threat of strong twisters capable of tracking long distances on the ground as a severe weather outbreak erupted in the Deep South.
Residents in several towns across Louisiana and Mississippi took cover as tornado sirens blared late Tuesday, and forecasters warned of the threat of strong twisters capable of tracking long distances on the ground as a severe weather outbreak erupted in the Deep South.
There were no immediate reports of severe damage or injuries as multiple tornado warnings were issued starting Tuesday afternoon and continuing into the nighttime hours as heavy thunderstorms rolled from eastern Texas to Georgia and as far north as Indiana. The National Weather Service confirmed that tornados hit the ground in Mississippi on Tuesday evening and Alabama was in the forecast path of the storms during the overnight hours.
More than 25 million people were at risk as the vast storm system. The national Storm Prediction Center said in its storm outlook that affected cities could include New Orleans; Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee; and Birmingham, Alabama.
The NWS received reports of people trapped at a grocery store in Caledonia, Mississippi, just after 6 p.m. Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency Director Cindy Lawrence told WTVA-TV the people inside the grocery store made it out safely. Lawrence also said a family trapped in a house about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the store escaped.
Additional reports of property damage near Columbus were received by the NWS, according to Lance Perrilloux, a forecaster with the agency.
Heavy rain and hail as big as tennis balls were also possible as forecasters said the weather outbreak was expected to continue into Wednesday.

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