2 children dead and many homes damaged as storms pummel South

Powerful tornado rips through East Texas town causing 'significant damage'

Multiple injuries after tornado rips through east Texas

Two children in East Texas were killed Saturday afternoon after a tree fell on top of the auto they were in as strong storms moved through the area, authorities say.

University spokesman Sid Salter said some debris, possibly carried by the tornado, was found on campus, but no injuries were reported and no buildings were damaged.

Lufkin is about 185 kilometres northeast of Houston. A mobile home community was damaged, but no injuries were reported.

The Angelina County Sheriff's Office says the children, ages 8 and 3, were riding in the auto with their parents when the incident happened.

A tornado was reported in the area 140 miles (225 kilometers) southwest of Memphis, Tennessee, at the time. The parents were in the fronts seats and were not injured.

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Two were injured when the suspected tornado touched down near the cities of Hearne and Franklin.

A curfew was in effect from 8 p.m.to 7 a.m. Sunday in Franklin, Texas, about 125 miles south of Dallas, following a direct hit from a tornado that overturned mobile homes and damaged other residences.

A preliminary damage survey found that a tornado with peak intensity of EF-3 and winds up to 140 miles per hour touched down in Robertson County, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service in Forth Worth. The storm system will continue moving east through MS and into Alabama - which had a deadly tornado last month - overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning. Crews were sent to survey the damage.

The storm that took two lives in Angelina County was a separate incident from the tornado that pummeled Franklin, Texas, late Saturday morning.However, the cells are part of the same system that developed in West Texas on Friday night and strengthened as it moved eastward through the state.

Almost 90,000 customers were without electricity in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia as of midday Sunday, according to www.poweroutage.us as the severe weather left a trail of destruction. Some people had to be extricated from their homes.

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In addition to a widespread severe weather outbreak from Texas to parts of the eastern US, this storm will likely bring an outbreak of tornadoes across parts of the southern USA on Saturday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Monique (moh-NEEK') Sellers says the agency received reports of downed trees, and damage to buildings and a transmission tower.

Winds of up to 97 km/h were reported in Cherokee County, Texas, damaging two homes in Alto but not injuring anyone.

The forecast of severe weather forced officials at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, 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.

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