JACKSON, Miss. -- Six people were injured in central Mississippi and authorities reported major storm damage Tuesday in the Starkville and Yazoo City areas as storms crossed from Louisiana to Alabama.
In central Louisiana, a tornado destroyed a brick house and damaged three other residences near the town of Atlanta as a front with thunderstorms moved across the region from Monday into Tuesday. No one was injured, the Winn Parish sheriff's office said.
The sheriff's office says the twister hit about 3 p.m. Monday. The tornado also damaged another house and two mobile homes.
Tornado watches were posted across southern Louisiana, much of Mississippi and Alabama and into south-central Tennessee through midday Tuesday.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway near New Orleans was closed for a time because of high winds.
Winds gusting to near hurricane force in Alabama knocked down trees and prompted some schools to cancel or delay classes
Alabama emergency management officials said a possible tornado toppled trees and power lines in Lamar County near the Mississippi line Tuesday morning, and winds estimated at near 70 mph blew a vehicle off Corridor X near Cordova in Walker County.
Officials closed Chilton County schools as a precaution, and school systems in Cullman and Walker counties delayed opening to allow time for the severe weather to pass.
In Mississippi, six people were hurt in Attala County when high winds damaged some mobile homes, but the extent of the injuries was not known early Tuesday. They were being treated at a Kosciusko hospital, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
In Starkville, home to Mississippi State University, authorities say the heaviest damage was reported in The Pines mobile home park near Starkville High School. Authorities said some of the mobile homes were tossed from their foundations.
"We can't confirm whether it was a tornado, but it's what's expected based on what is being seen on radar," said Daniel Lamb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson.
At the Pines, Police Chief David Lindley said at least seven mobile homes were deemed destroyed -- one of which was turned on its side -- and numerous others suffered moderate to major damage. Several had trees fall on them, while others saw wall siding and roof materials ripped off.
"We've had no reports of injuries," Lindley told the Starkville Daily News. "The trailer park has been searched at least three times by police officers and firefighters. What we've been doing is to trying to verify the locations of all the residents and see if any may be missing."
MEMA officials said they would be getter more complete damage assessments from around the state when it got light Tuesday.
In Yazoo City, police said what they believe was a tornado caused heavy damage in downtown areas, including businesses and the local courthouse.
Just seven months earlier, nearly 200 homes in Yazoo County were destroyed or damaged by an April tornado.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol has blocked traffic on U.S. Highway 49 leading into the city, a police dispatcher said.
"Nobody's going in or out of downtown," the dispatcher said. "We're running on generators."
MEMA said power outages with property damage were also reported in Monroe, Warren, Smith, Leake and other areas.
Entergy Mississippi had around 2,000 power outages in its coverage area at 10 p.m. Monday. Warren County had nearly 1,300 customers affected, followed by Yazoo County with 450 customers. The balance were scattered through more than a dozen counties, officials said.