1 dead in east Texas, NW Louisiana storms

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

A strong tornado-producing storm system blew through east Texas and western Louisiana Saturday, leaving major damage behind and is responsible for at least one death, authorities said.

That system rolled across the region produced large tornadoes that ripped through communities in Rusk, Cherokee and Panola counties in east Texas, leaving a trail of debris in places like Mount Enterprise, a town of approximately 500. Mount Enterprise is around 165 miles north of Houston near Nacogdoches. At least five tornadoes were reported in the east Texas area on Saturday.

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In Panola County, a resident in the Deadwood community died, Sheriff Kevin Lake told KLTV.

"We have major damage in multiple parts of the county and one confirmed fatality," Lake said Saturday.

Fallen trees blocked countless roads across the region as crews worked to check on residents in the path of the storms.

"We currently have multiple residences and businesses that have suffered damage and are currently working utility emergencies and conducting search and rescue operations and trying to assist all who have been impacted by today's extreme weather," officials with the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management said in a Facebook post.

As the storms moved eastward Saturday night into Louisiana, hail larger than baseballs was reported as twisters pushed across the state line, according to KTBS-TV in Shreveport.

The National Weather Service planned to send survey teams to impacted areas Sunday to measure the impact of the confirmed tornadoes.

The system stretched from Texas to North Carolina, which produced at least 168 reports of severe weather in the region. In Nashville, Tennessee, instruments recorded the second-largest two-day rainfall total of at least 6.69 inches there.

In addition to the five tornadoes reported in Texas, ten more were reported across Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

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