Storms leave path of destruction from LA to AL

By Carolyn Roy – bio|email|Twitter

(KSLA) - From Arkansas to Alabama, twisters took their toll this weekend as thunderstorms swept through the Southeast.  The path of destruction tore through parts of Louisiana before moving into Mississippi and killing 10 people before moving on to Northern Alabama late Saturday night, causing major damage.

Queen City, Texas and Fouke, Arkansas suffered scattered damage from the storms.  Keith Stellman with the National Weather Service says two tornadoes touched down briefly. "It's just a weak tornado, EF-0, but none the less it was a tornado."  It was long enough to take down a number of trees, some of which came too close for comfort for Fouke resident Shelia Collins, whose husband might have made a life-saving decision to leave his truck where it was. "Whenever it started she told him to move his truck if he had done that it would have killed him."

It was also a close call for Connie Stevenson, who now has a tree smashed into the corner of her house, "That's my baby room and its right above her baby bed. I'm Just thankful she wasn't in it when that tree hit."

The severe weather continued into Northeastern Louisiana, spawning a tornado that slammed into a chemical plant and a shipyard at the Tallulah Port and destroyed 12 houses, damaging many others.

Madison Parish Sheriff's Major Neil Horath says a dozen people suffered broken bones, cuts or other injuries, and deputies had to clear fallen trees from several yards so people could get out of their houses. But he says nobody was seriously hurt.

Complex Chemicals Company owner Jerry Melton said he will rebuild his plant, and a police report that people were trapped inside was not correct. He also says a small leak of liquid nitrogen evaporated harmlessly. Northrop-Grumman Corporation spokesman Bill Glenn says the shipyard will be closed Monday to assess damages.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to visit Madison Parish Sunday and meet with the Sheriff.

The storms took a deadly turn in Yazoo City, Mississippi, where rescuers are scouring neighborhoods of splintered homes and twisted debris in Mississippi, a day after a devastating tornado sliced through the state. Ten people, including three children, were killed. Meteorologists say it's not clear yet whether a single long-lasting tornado or multiple shorter ones caused the widespread damage.

A tornado touched down in downtown Albertville, Alabama, taking down trees and power lines. Local stations reported that police and fire communication was also knocked out, making early assessments of the damage difficult to gauge.  There were injuries, but no reports of any fatalities.

Damage from other possible twisters were also reported in Alabama's Dekalb, Cullman and Walker Counties.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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