Published January 14, 2015
A cold front moving through Texas spawned several tornadoes, killing one person and destroying several homes. The front followed about four days of thunderstorms and flooding remained a concern.
Elsewhere in the South, a tornado heavily damaged the north-central Louisiana community of Olla, killing a woman inside a collapsed house and injuring others. And a tornado in Winston County, Miss., killed one and injured two there early Wednesday.
In Texas' Dewitt County, officials called for the evacuation of about 100 homes near the Guadalupe River, said Sheriff Gary Edwards. In Wharton County, about 2,500 people were asked to evacuate homes near the Colorado River.
County Judge John Murrile said most people had complied with the request to leave their homes but officials planned to have 10 boats available for rescues.
"We know we are going to have to go out and get some of these folks with boats because some of them won't leave," he said.
A dispatcher for the Hardin County Sheriff's Department said a woman was killed and three people were injured when a tornado hit about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"Several trailers were wiped out," said Valerie Stewart, adding there was "pretty extensive damage" throughout the northern part of the county. Four tornadoes were reported.
Authorities had a difficult time reaching affected areas because downed trees made some highways impassible.
Billy Ted Smith, emergency management coordinator for Jasper, Newton and Sabine counties, said authorities believe three tornadoes hit the town of Kirbyville within minutes of one another.
A possible tornado struck Wharton County late Tuesday, damaging four homes, but no injuries were reported, said Matt Moreland, a weather service forecaster.
The National Weather Service (search) in San Antonio said sunny skies were expected Wednesday.
The Louisiana tornado left several houses and mobile homes in the community of Olla "completely torn up," according to Carl Smith, the sheriff of LaSalle Parish. Olla, with a population of around 1,400, is about 47 miles north of Alexandria.
"It cut a path through the middle of town," Smith said.
In Mississippi, the state emergency management agency said there were reports of injuries and damage in scattered counties, in addition to the death in Winston County in the east-central part of the state.
"We got the call around 3:35 a.m. that there were three people missing from a home," Clarence Kelley, Winston County Civil Defense director. "They found two of them and the third one was the fatality."