Updated Apr 14, 2020 - Science

Deadliest tornado outbreak in 6 years kills more than 30 in the South

A building razed by a tornado in Monroe, Louisiana, on Sunday. Photo: City of Monroe/Twitter

A powerful storm system that spawned tornadoes in the South Sunday and Monday has killed at least 33 people, authorities say. PowerOutage.US said the storms left almost 1.3 million people without power from Texas to Maine Monday afternoon.

The big picture: It was the deadliest tornado outbreak since 35 people were killed in the central and southern U.S. in April 2014, per NOAA. The storms struck as many were under stay-at-home orders and other restrictions imposed in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

  • The system brought with it damaging gusts of wind, hail and heavy rain, causing flash flooding in some places, prompting the governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to declare states of emergency.

The state of play: In Mississippi, the Emergency Management Agency said in a statement on Monday the severe weather had killed 11 people and left more than 72,000 customers without power in the state.

  • South Carolina Gov. Gov. Henry McMaster told a news conference nine people lost their lives in the storm.
  • In Georgia, seven people died when a tornado ripped through Murray County, officials said. A man died in Bartow County when a tree fell on his bedroom, a coroner told local media.
  • Tennessee officials said three people were killed, per AP.
  • Arkansas reported one death from a falling tree and a trail of destruction after a tornado struck there, officials told local media.
  • In North Carolina, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said a woman died when a tree fell on her in the storms, AP reports.
  • In Pennsylvania, stormes downed trees across the state, AP notes.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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