Florida girl, 8, dies after tree falls on home during strong storms; death toll rises to 4 across South
Strong storms that barreled across the South overnight Thursday claimed the life of an 8-year-old girl in northern Florida after a tree fell on her house, raising the death toll to 4.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office said deputies received a call just after 8 a.m. Friday to report that a tree had gone through the house on Old Woodville Highway and had injured two residents.
Two children – an 8-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy – were transported to a local hospital with injuries. The girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The sheriff’s office said the 12-year-old boy had injuries that were not life-threatening and was with his families.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time,” the sheriff’s office said on Twitter.
The child was not immediately identified.
The strong storms that roared through Thursday night and into Friday morning killed two Mississippi drivers and a woman in Alabama. It left more than 100,000 people without power across the region.
A Mississippi man was killed Thursday afternoon when his car hit a tree on a highway south of Philadelphia, Mississippi, Neshoba County Coroner John Stephens told local news outlets. Stephens did not immediately release the man’s name.
Kenderick Magee, 24, was also killed while driving in the storm, WLBT-TV reported. Magee fatally crashed near the rural town of Gillsburg in southwest Mississippi, Amite County Coroner Campbell Sharp said.
Alabama authorities said a woman was killed Thursday night after strong storms knocked a tree onto her mobile home in St Clair County.
Torrential downpours, large hail and a few tornadoes are among the hazards, the National Weather Service in Raleigh, North Carolina, warned about in its Friday morning hazardous weather outlook.
“An isolated strong and long-track tornado can’t be ruled out,” forecasters wrote.
Multiple tornado warnings were issued to parts of northeast Georgia on Friday, however, there were no immediate reports of any damage from those storms.
National Weather Service forecasters said they believe multiple tornadoes hit southwest and central Mississippi on Thursday, although they won’t be sure until the damage is surveyed. Heavy winds also were reported in Louisiana earlier in the day and in central Alabama as the system quickly pushed eastward.
Damage was heavy in the Mississippi hamlet of Learned, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Jackson. Large oaks were uprooted from the saturated ground, landing on at least a dozen houses.
The National Weather Service received numerous reports of hail pelting the storm-struck areas. Egg-size hail was reported about 60 miles northwest of Fort Worth.
The threat came days after more than 40 tornadoes from East Texas to Georgia left at least nine dead. That outbreak damaged more than 250 homes, businesses and public buildings across Mississippi.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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