A winter storm sweeping across the South on Tuesday will put more than 15 million people on the Gulf Coast at risk of severe storms, including Houston, New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama.
On Tuesday, forecasters with the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center warned people in the area of potentially damaging winds and powerful tornadoes.
The National Weather Service in Houston issued a tornado emergency warning this afternoon, saying radar in southeastern Harris County confirmed a large and extremely dangerous tornado. It was the first on record at the agency’s Houston office, meteorologists said.
The severe storm threat will continue to move east along the Gulf Coast throughout the night.
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas said he directed The Texas Department of Emergency Management prepared the state’s response resources, adding that authorities at all levels were prepared. At least three dozen flights were canceled at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport and hundreds were delayed, according to flight-tracking company FlightAware.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency Head to the eastern suburbs of Houston around 2:30 local time. According to the Weather Service, a tornado emergency is an “extremely rare tornado warning issued when there is a serious threat to human life and catastrophic damage from an imminent or ongoing tornado.”
In Pasadena, Texas, a suburb southeast of Houston, the city’s police department said Twitter Police and fire departments are helping people affected by the tornado, which struck southeast Pasadena. The department warned that “dozens of calls” were coming in and assistance could take longer than expected.
In Louisiana, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness twitter news About storm safety. “We face another severe weather threat this week,” the agency said, urging residents to remain vigilant. Mississippi State Emergency Management Agency A similar message was sent about storm preparations.
The risk of severe weather will shift to the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast Wednesday through Thursday. Tornadoes are possible for East Coast cities from Norfolk, Virginia, to Jacksonville, Florida, later this week.
Large hail is also a risk if these storms roll in.
Last month, New Orleans was hit by a deadly tornado as a series of storms swept across the south. Last March, two tornadoes lashed the area around the city, killing at least one person and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Derek Bryson Taylor and Jesus Jimenez Contribution report.