At least five killed in powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes in South

FIRST ALERT Potential for a severe weather outbreak Saturday increasing

Severe storms crossing a big swath of the South, including parts of Louisiana and MS, have knocked out power to thousands and caused some flash flooding.

Trees were pulled up by the roots, roofs were torn off buildings and the cinderblock foundation was all that was left of a mobile home in the town, which is southeast of Waco.

"It looks like a storm came up through Louisiana and into MS and exploded in Monroe County", Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell told CNN.

Robertson County Texas Sheriff Gerald Yezak (YEZ'-ik) told The Associated Press that a suspected tornado hit Franklin on Saturday, overturning mobile homes and damaging other residences. Widespread severe thunderstorms have pounded areas to our West Saturday night. Snow was falling in Chicago on Sunday, with 1 to 3 inches (2.5-7.6 cm) reported in central IL, as a result of the storm's cold front.

The severe weather left dozens of others injured, and roughly 60,000 people were without power as of Sunday evening in Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and MS combined.

After arriving at the scene, police were able to determine "that two children age 8 and 3 were trapped in the back seat of the auto under the tree".

The tornado downed trees near the Mississippi State University campus.

Vicksburg, Mississippi, was also affected by a tornado.

Franklin, Texas, roughly 125 miles south of Dallas, was nearly entirely flattened by a tornado, according to the Robertson County Sheriff's Office. Tornado warnings have been issued in OH and SC on Sunday afternoon and a tornado watch has been issued in Virginia. Franklin is located about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Dallas.

Franklin, Texas, was the victim of a large preliminary EF-3 tornado which caused winds of 140mph to devastate the town, causing significant damage.

The primarily threats from the storms are scattered damaging wind gusts at or greater than 70 miles per hour and isolated large hail. Crews were sent to survey the damage.

Winds of up to 60 mph (96.56 kph) were reported in Cherokee County, Texas, damaging two homes in Alto, about 140 miles (225 kilometres) north of Houston, but no injuries were reported.

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