Deadly tornadoes leave trail of destruction across US South
At least four people have died following the storms.
At least four people have died after tornadoes and storms left a trail of destruction across the south-east United States.
A dozen more people were injured, with victims of the storms left to bundle up against the cold as they surveyed the wreckage of their homes on Tuesday.
The death toll from the violent weather rose to four on Tuesday morning after heavy rain hit Greenup County in Kentucky overnight, sparking a flood watch.
— National Weather Service (@NWS) December 17, 2019
Water rescue crews were called in on Tuesday morning to help two people, and at least one of them died. State police said crews are still trying to rescue the second person.
It is not clear exactly how many twisters passed through the region, but the US National Weather Service tweeted more than 240 tornado warnings for the region over roughly 21 hours starting early on Monday.
The Storm Prediction Centre logged at least three dozen reports of storm damage from east Texas to Alabama and as far north as Tennessee, and potential twisters are still swirling in south-east Alabama.
A husband and wife died in the north Alabama community of Town Creek, and the storm injured others including a seven-year-old-child who was taken to hospital, authorities said.
Alabama governor Kay Ivey expressed sympathy for the victims, saying: “While most of us slept through the storm, a family is waking up today devastated.”
One other person died at a house when an apparent tornado struck a residential area in Vernon Parish, Louisiana, according to police.
Some cities opened shelters as a cold front collided with warmer air over northern Gulf Coast states and sent temperatures plunging after the storms passed.
December tornadoes are not as unusual as they might seem. Monday was the 19th anniversary of a south-eastern tornado outbreak which produced a twister that killed 11 people in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Storms on December 1 2018 spawned more than two dozen tornadoes in the Midwest.