US storm deaths reach 22 as new tornadoes hit Texas

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Powerful Southeastern Tornadoes Kill 14

DALLAS (Reuters) - Four people died in a storm-related incident in Texas near where a tornado touched down on Saturday, bringing the death toll from tornadoes and flooding this week in the southern United States to 22, according to officials and local media.

The four victims were killed in what was believed to be a traffic accident in the Texas city of Garland, about 15 miles (24 km) northeast of downtown Dallas, police spokesman Mike Hatfield told the Dallas Morning News.

The National Weather Service confirmed tornadoes hit multiple cities around Dallas on Saturday evening. Weather officials said there were reports of debris falling from the sky onto a highway in nearby DeSoto.

The Weather Service said a tornado had touched down to the south of Dallas in Ellis County, where Emergency Management Coordinator Stephanie Parker said: "We have destroyed and damaged homes."


See images from the tornado destruction in Alabama:

23 PHOTOS
Tornado touches down in Alabama, recent severe weather
See Gallery
US storm deaths reach 22 as new tornadoes hit Texas
Tanager Tyler and son Mitchell look over a vehicle, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015, that wound up in the culvert of their driveway after floodwaters swept it and its four occupants off the road during the previous night, in Pinson, Ala. The occupants had to be rescued by the fire department. (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)
Andrea Simpson wades through water as she goes back to her house in Courtland, Ala., after checking if the barn was safe for her horses to spend the night in Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. The barn turned out to be flooded, too. (Jeronimo Nisa/The Decatur Daily via AP)
Elba and state officials discuss their next step as they gather at the highway 84 bridge, Dec. 26, 2015 in Elba, Ala. The river crested today and began to recede before flooding the downtown area. Officials said more than 100 houses and businesses were flooded by the rising waters. (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)
A Merry Christmas sign is mostly submerged by flood waters from the Pea River, Dec. 26, 2015 in Elba, Ala. The river crested today and began to recede before flooding the downtown area. Officials said more than 100 houses and businesses were flooded by the rising waters. (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)
Residents watch flooding from the Pea river, Dec. 26, 2015 in Elba, Ala. The river crested today and began to recede before flooding the downtown area. Officials said more than 100 houses and businesses were flooded by the rising waters. (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)
Danny Allen leaves his house and crosses Academy Street in Courtland, Ala., Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. (Jeronimo Nisa/The Decatur Daily via AP)
A building is submerged by the Pea river as people wait to cross in to downtown on highway 84 bridge, Dec. 26, 2015 in Elba, Ala. The river crested today and began to recede before flooding the downtown area. Officials said more than 100 houses and businesses were flooded by the rising waters. (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)
Elba and state officials discuss their next step as they gather on highway 84 bridge, Dec. 26, 2015 in Elba, Ala. The river crested today and began to recede before flooding the downtown area. Officials said more than 100 house and businesses were flooded by the rising waters. (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)
Water surrounds construction equipment in a yard on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Madison County, Ala. Unseasonably warm weather helped spawn severe storms Friday after violent storms in the Southeast left dozens of families homeless by Christmas Eve. (Bob Gathany/AL.com via AP)
Two men watch as a friend tries to drive through flooded Smith avenue, Dec. 26, 2015 in Elba, Ala. He had to back out because the water was to high and strong. (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)
Wayne Horton points out some of his crops, now under water, as he steers his boat over his flooded orchard next to his house on Clinton Street in Courtland, Ala., Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. (Jeronimo Nisa/The Decatur Daily via AP)
In this images released by the Office of the Governor of Alabama, cattle move in flood waters as Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley flies over Elba, Ala., Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015, Bentley declared a state of emergency Friday amid widespread flash flooding that follows several days of intense weather throughout the South. (Jamie Martin/Office of the Governor of Alabama via AP)
Lightning illuminates a house after a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Ala., damaging several houses, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A Christmastime wave of severe weather continued Friday. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Birmingham firefighters work a scene after a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Ala., damaging several houses, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A Christmastime wave of severe weather continued Friday. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Brooke Speegle waits to be rescued after her vehicle stalled in high water on Christmas Day in Decatur, Ala., Friday, Dec. 25, 2015. A storm pounded Tennessee and other states in the southeastern U.S. (John Godbey/The Decatur Daily via AP)
Gregory Shuford, left, and Terease Shuford keep an eye on flooding in west Montgomery, Ala., on Christmas morning Friday, Dec. 25, 2015. The line of severe storms continued marching eastward Thursday, dumping torrential rain that flooded roads in Alabama and caused a mudslide in the mountains of Georgia. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Emergency officials transport James Simmons by boat because water over Byler Road prevented them from reaching him in Moulton, Ala., Friday, Dec. 25, 2015. They carried him by boat before loading him into an ambulance. Unseasonably warm weather helped spawn severe storms Friday after violent storms in the Southeast left dozens of families homeless by Christmas Eve. (Deangelo McDaniel/The Decatur Daily via AP) 
Cars sit submerged in flood waters on Tallapoosa Street, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A Christmastime wave of severe weather continued Friday as a tornado touched down in north-central Alabama, including part of Birmingham, the state's largest city. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Birmingham firefighters work a scene after a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Ala., damaging several houses, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A Christmastime wave of severe weather continued Friday. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Birmingham firefighters work a scene after a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Ala., damaging several houses, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A Christmastime wave of severe weather continued Friday. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Birmingham firefighters work a scene after a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Ala., damaging several houses, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A Christmastime wave of severe weather continued Friday. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
A pedestrian heads towards his car in rain and high winds, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A weather pattern that could be associated with El Nino has turned winter upside-down across the U.S. during a week of heavy holiday travel, bringing spring-like warmth to the Northeast, a risk of tornadoes in the South and so much snow in parts of the West that there are concerns about avalanches. On Christmas Day, it could be warmer in New York City than Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Weather officials also confirmed tornadoes striking the Texas towns Ovilla, Farmersville and Rowlett - which neighbors Garland. Images uploaded to social media showed a massive tornado near Rowlett and at least one destroyed structure.

Flash flood and tornado warnings extended into Saturday night for the region, according to the Weather Service.

Officials in Benton County, Mississippi, on Saturday found the bodies of a man and woman who were missing since being caught in a tornado on Wednesday, said Greg Flynn, spokesman for Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

The cause of their deaths was not disclosed, but they brought the total dead from tornadoes in Mississippi to 10, in addition to 56 people injured, officials said.

The tornado damaged 403 homes over a seven-county area in the state, Flynn said. In addition, flooding left 50 homes uninhabitable and closed 40 roads in Monroe County, which got 10 to 12 inches (about 25 to 30 cm) of rain, he said.

The tornadoes also killed six people in Tennessee and one each in Arkansas and Alabama, bringing the three-state total to 18.

State authorities told local broadcaster WTVY that they had recovered the body of a 5-year-old boy who drowned when the car he was in was swept into floodwaters on Friday. A 22-year-old man who was in the car remains missing, the station said.

U.S. post-holiday travelers can expect a mix of stormy weather during the remainder of the weekend, with blizzard conditions in New Mexico and western Texas and flooding rain in the southern plains from south Texas through Indiana, forecasters said.

In California, high winds fanned a wildfire that closed parts of the much-traveled U.S. 101 northwest of Los Angeles and forced evacuations, fire officials said.

The wet and snowy conditions come after a Christmas Day of unseasonable warmth on the East Coast, with record-high temperatures set or tied in several cities, including New York.

"It looks like it's going to be pretty bad across the southwest into the southern plains," said Evan Duffey, meteorologist for AccuWeather.

He added that given the blizzard conditions expected for Saturday, anyone hoping to travel in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas "should try to get going as soon as you can" to beat the storm.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas, Mary Wisniewski in Chicago and Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Additional reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Bill Rigby and Dan Grebler)


More on AOL.com
Couple found dead in SUV in Maine; deaths called suspicious
Pluto gets into the Christmas spirit with new NASA photo
Bill Clinton's Arkansas birthplace damaged in suspected arson

Read Full Story

People are Reading