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Violent storms, floods, tornadoes leave 5 dead in South

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 4/26/2019 Doyle Rice
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Violent storms unleashed floods and tornadoes across Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday and Thursday, leaving at least five people dead.

The threat for rough weather will continue Friday, the National Weather Service said. Severe thunderstorms are possible across the mid-Atlantic region, and strong winds and tornadoes are both possible in eastern portions of North Carolina and Virginia. 

Two people were killed early Thursday in Ruston, in north-central Louisiana, after a tornado ripped through the town and the Louisiana Tech University campus around 2:30 a.m. local time.

"I've never seen it this bad in my 43 years. It's tragic, and it's going to be a while before we can get all this cleaned up," Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone said.  

Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker confirmed the two fatalities.

"It's bad; real bad," Walker said. "We took a direct hit."

Late Thursday afternoon, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency for the entire state due to the fierce storms. 

The National Weather Service said the tornado was rated an EF-3, which means its wind speeds were in the 136 to 165 mph range.

Weather service hydrologist C. S. Ross says it appears the tornado cut a track over 130 miles from eastern Texas to the Louisiana-Arkansas border.

The same cluster of thunderstorms produced flooding and severe weather in Texas on Wednesday, the Weather Channel reported.

About 75 miles southwest of Fort Worth, a woman and two children were killed when the family's car was caught in rushing flood waters, authorities said. The incident occurred at about 6 a.m. in what's usually a small creek just outside Dublin.

The Weather Channel said the threat of severe weather, including possible large hail and tornadoes, will continue to move into the Southeast on Thursday night before shifting toward the mid-Atlantic on Friday.

Thursday's opening of the New Orleans Jazz Fest was delayed because of the storms, the event organizers said. The PGA golf tournament in New Orleans was also delayed for several hours because of lightning. 

Contributing: The Associated Press; The News-Star (Monroe, La.) 

a construction site: Storms smashed through Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, early on April 25, 2019. © Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Storms smashed through Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, early on April 25, 2019.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Violent storms, floods, tornadoes leave 5 dead in South

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