1 dead after dangerous tornado strikes Louisiana

A slew of tornado warnings were in effect across Louisiana and Mississippi by midday Monday as a violent outbreak of severe weather ignited across the region.

One fatality has been confirmed by the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office after a violent, long-tracking tornado wreaked havoc for over an hour in Louisiana. The twister first touched down near DeRiddler and continued on the ground through Alexandria, a distance of over 60 miles, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Just minutes after a tornado watch was issued for the region on Monday morning, severe thunderstorms erupted from eastern Texas to central Mississippi.

The storm that spun up the tornado near DeRidder struck around 11 a.m. CST and tracked to the northeast near Fullerton. A half hour after developing, the NWS said that the storm had produced a radar-confirmed tornado and that it was a ‘particularly dangerous situation.’

“Based on recent radar and environmental data, a strong to potentially intense tornado with potential peak winds of 110 to 155 mph (EF1-EF3) is likely ongoing,” the Storm Prediction Center warned people in a special weather discussion at 11:33 a.m. CST.

The storm continued to track northeastward, and the NWS declared a rare tornado emergency for Alexandra, Louisiana, at 12:39 p.m. CST.

“A confirmed large and destructive tornado was observed near Alexandria International Airport, moving northeast at 25 mph,” the NWS said in the emergency bulletin. “This a DANGEROUS SITUATION. TAKE COVER NOW!”

At the same time that this storm was tracking across central Louisiana, another dangerous storm took shape just west of Jackson, Mississippi. Multiple storm chasers in the area confirmed that there was a tornado on the ground with the storm tracking almost directly over the town of Edwards around 12:10 p.m. CST.

Damage was reported near Edwards, including snapped power poles, according to local emergency managers. Power outages have topped 3,000 in Mississippi and over 10,000 in Louisiana as of 1:45 p.m. CST, according to PowerOutage.us.

Additional tornadoes are likely to spin up over the region through Monday afternoon ahead of a vigorous cold front that is sweeping through the region.

Continue to check back with AccuWeather for additional information on this developing story, and follow AccuWeather on Twitter for additional updates on the severe weather.

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