‘Extremely Dangerous’ Tornado Reported Outside Dallas as Storm Death Toll in … – ABC News

A “large and extremely dangerous” tornado was confirmed south of Dallas, Texas Saturday afternoon as the death toll from severe storms throughout the South this week has risen to 17.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) reported two more deaths Saturday, bringing the total in the state to 10. The two additional deaths in Bexar County were originally considered missing.

The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a tornado watch today for 49 counties in Texas, including Dallas County, the state’s second most populous after Harris County. The tornado watch is in effect until 8 p.m. CST in those counties.

And Saturday evening, a “large and extremely dangerous” tornado was reported near Glenn Heights, TX, south of Dallas, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters called the situation “life-threatening” and said that mobile homes “will be destroyed.” They also predicted “considerable damage to homes” and “complete destruction is possible.”

Six people in Tennessee and one person in Arkansas also died in the storms, bringing the total to 17.

The MEMA also said there were 60 storm-related injuries in Mississippi, adding that several counties reported flash flooding on Friday due to a stalled front over the state. There were 10 water rescues in Monroe County as a result of floodwaters.

The storms caused damage to over 100 homes, mobile homes, and businesses, said the MEMA.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant issued a declaration of disaster. He said Mississippi was in the recovery stage Thursday as authorities determined how much damage was caused and what federal assistance the state may qualify for.

PHOTO: 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. Butch Dill/AP PHOTO

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.

The latest number of weather-related deaths in the South came as the National Weather Service said a tornado touched down near Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday. There were reportedly people trapped in damaged homes, according to Birmingham police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell said there were no fatalities that officials knew of. There was one reported injury.

Widespread flooding has also been reported in the Birmingham area with over 7 inches of rain in northwestern Alabama and up to 6 inches in northeastern Alabama.

The heavy rainfall prompted Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to declare a state of emergency for counties in the state.

Meanwhile, some spots of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas could receive almost a foot of rain this weekend. Several rivers were expected to rapidly rise in the area and across the region.

Daniel Manzo, Ben Stein, Tom Liddy, Kelly Stevenson, Emily Shapiro, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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