A storm system that left widespread damage and some injuries in its wake in Texas moved into Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday, possibly causing “severe regional weather conditions,” the Storm Prediction Center said.
Affected areas, including the cities of Baton Rouge and Jackson, Mississippi, could see strong tornadoes, forecasters said.
Federal and state officials in Louisiana are reminding thousands of hurricane survivors living in government-provided mobile homes and RV trailers until they have an evacuation plan because the structures may not withstand the forecast weather.
More than 8,000 families live in these temporary accommodations, Bob Howard, spokesman for a joint clearinghouse for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said Monday.
In a joint statement, the agencies said flooding could cause the most damage.
“Repeated episodes of heavy rain may occur in the same areas, increasing the risk of flooding,” the statement said. “Move to higher ground before flood warnings.”
Nearly 1,800 homes in trailers provided directly by FEMA, the federal emergency assistance agency, are still unable to return to homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020, according to a news release last week. Another 1,600 trailers were deployed for households displaced by Hurricane Ida, Howard said, and Louisiana has placed more than 4,400 RV trailers for Ida victims under a FEMA-paid trial program.
Anyone living in temporary state or FEMA housing should keep cellphones turned on and fully charged, with the volume turned up and severe weather alerts enabled, the agencies said.
The storm has already left misery in its wake in Texas, injuring at least four people, officials said.
Authorities reported damage throughout Jacksboro, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Fort Worth. There, photos posted on social media showed a storm tore the wall and ceiling off parts of Jacksboro High School, especially its gym.
“It made me cry,” the school’s principal, Starla Sanders, told WFAA-TV in Dallas.
The storm also hit the city’s animal shelter, but the extent of the damage was not immediately clear.
Thirty miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Jacksboro, near Bowie, the damage was widespread, with reports of a few people trapped in collapsed structures. City Manager Bert Cunningham said the worst damage was in the east of the city, with up to four people trapped in landslides. Four people suffered minor injuries, Emergency Manager Kelly McNabb said.
Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our channel YouTube and turn on notifications, or follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter e Instagram.