Photo: Storm causes large tornadoes, floods across the southern United States | In the photo News

People in several southern US states are assessing damage and clearing debris after tornadoes and strong winds caused widespread damage and left at least two people dead.

Matthew Elliott, a meteorologist at the Hurricane Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, said a total of 73 tornado warnings and 120 severe thunderstorm warnings were issued between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

Weather forecasters have warned of the threat of powerful tornadoes capable of tracking long distances on the ground as an outbreak of severe weather breaks out in the deep south.

Residents of several towns across Louisiana and Mississippi took shelter as tornado sirens went off late on Tuesday.

Severe thunderstorms extended from eastern Texas to Georgia and as far north as Indiana. The National Weather Service confirms that the tornado made landfall Mississippi on Tuesday night.

Significant tornado damage was also evident in the Flatwood community north of Montgomery, Alabama, where two people were killed when trees fell on their home, said Christina Thornton, director of the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency.

Tornadoes damaged homes, destroyed a fire station, briefly trapped people in a grocery store, and tore off the roof of an apartment complex in Mississippi.

More than 25 million people were at risk from the major storm system. The National Hurricane Center said in its hurricane outlook that affected cities could include New Orleans in Louisiana; Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee; and Birmingham in Alabama.


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