At least one home with significant damge near Amite. (Source: Tangipahoa Parish Emergency Management)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -
Four people died and several were injured Tuesday as severe weather blowing through the southern U.S. two days before Christmas spawned tornadoes, knocked out power to thousands and damaged some homes and buildings.
According to the Marion County coroner, two victims were killed in a tornado in Columbia, Miss. The Jones County sheriff reported two deaths there. He said the victims were in a mobile home
Another tornado touched down in Tangipahoa Parish near Amite, causing some wind damage to homes, trees and power lines. The National Weather Service confirmed the damage was caused by a tornado later in the afternoon.
Highway 16 had to be closed between the Tangipahoa River and Highway 1054 because of trees lying across the roadway. Despite heavy damages in some areas, there have been no reports of injuries, according to Louisiana State Police. The sheriff's office said the heaviest damage occurred east of Amite near Leander Lane.
The tornado watch continues until 6 p.m., but several western parishes have been dropped as the line of storms continues to track east. Most of the rain rain will be gone Tuesday night and colder air rushes in before midnight. Christmas Eve morning will begin with temperatures in the 20s, 30s and 40s Christmas morning. The chill really only lasts through Christmas Day, as the area returns to the southerly flow from the Gulf Friday with highs back in the mid and upper 60s.