Severe weather flips cars, rips roofs in Southeast

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A severe weather system that trudged across the Southeast Wednesday tore roofs off buildings, overturned cars and caused a house fire that killed a woman.

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Emergency officials survey the damage where a trailer was destroyed by a storm Wednesday at Cedar Lake Manufactured Home Community in Biloxi, Miss.

Two apparent tornadoes damaged buildings and caused minor injuries near Mobile in southwest Alabama, hours after several tornadoes were reported to the west in Louisiana. A woman died in a house fire in Mississippi that authorities believe was caused by lightning.

Alabama and Louisiana’s governors declared states of emergency, which allows them to request federal help in responding to the storms.

In Alabama, authorities said only minor injuries were reported despite the destruction.

Ambulances, police cars and fire trucks with flashing lights descended on the Theodore area near Mobile after the storm struck about 8:45 a.m. CST, overturning vehicles, nearly demolishing a gas station, knocking down power lines and causing ammonia and natural gas leaks.

Torrential rains caused flooding across a wide area of the state, and damage was reported in 17 counties by midday.

At least three tornadoes touched down in southeastern Louisiana on the heels of Mardi Gras season, which ended Tuesday night. A twister that hit Bush damaged a car, truck, home and trailer and left a woman with a cut on her head, officials said.

A thunderstorm in eastern Tennessee tore a section of roof from Camp Creek Elementary School on Wednesday morning before the school opened, The Greeneville Sun reported. No injuries were reported.

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