Storms sweep across the South, killing 6 and injuring dozens

Enhanced’ threat for severe weather in Metro area overnight

Enhanced’ threat for severe weather in Metro area overnight

Powerful storms swept across the South on Sunday after unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least eight people, injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town.

Robertson County Texas Sheriff Gerald Yezak (YEZ'-ik) told The Associated Press that a suspected tornado hit Franklin on Saturday, overturning mobile homes and damaging other residences. On Saturday morning, the storm system dropped hail ranging from the size of golf balls to baseballs on San Antonio. Widespread severe thunderstorms have pounded areas to our West Saturday night.

One thunderstorm cell near Columbus Air Force Base in MS has a potential "debris ball" signature on radar, which indicates the potential for significant tornado damage that can be detected by radar, he said.

Meteorologist Monique Sellers said they've received reports of downed trees, as well as damage to buildings and a transmission tower.

Authorities say a possible tornado has touched down in western MS, causing damage to several businesses and vehicles.

A preliminary damage survey showed an EF-3 tornado, with winds up to 140 miles per hour, touched down in Robertson County, the NWS in Fort Worth said.

The entire town of Franklin and neighboring Bremond lost electricity, with 3,088 customers cut-off across the county early Sunday.

The forecast of severe weather forced officials at the Masters in Augusta, Ga., to begin the tournament early Sunday, starting threesomes off the first and 10th tees on the day's final round in hopes of finishing in midafternoon before the winds and rains begin.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said the warm air present during the afternoon enhanced the atmosphere's instability, creating more energy for storms to tap into and aiding in their development.

"Damaging winds and a couple of tornadoes will be the primary hazards, but isolated hail may accompany the strongest [storms]", the Storm Prediction Center wrote.

And the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said multiple fatalities have been confirmed in Monroe County, but did not say how many. "We are just a mess", Cantrell said.

Several buildings have been damaged after a tornado-warned storm moved through Franklin. Very heavy rain - capable of producing pockets of flash flooding, damaging wind gusts, hail, and even an isolated, short-lived tornado can not be ruled out.

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