Severe weather graphic

Authorities say a possible tornado has touched down in western Mississippi, causing damage to several businesses and vehicles.

John Moore, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Jackson, says a twister was reported Saturday in the Vicksburg area of Mississippi and was indicated on radar. No injuries were reported.

News footage from the area showed shattered windows and rooftop debris from businesses, flooding in parking lots and cars with windows smashed out.

Moore tells The Associated Press by phone that meteorologists haven't yet confirmed it was a tornado. Severe storms crossing a big swath of the South, including parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, have knocked out power to thousands and caused some flash flooding. Damage also has been reported near Satartia, Mississippi, from the storms.

Authorities in East Texas say two children were killed after a tree fell on a car as it was being driven during a strong storm.

The Angelina County Sheriff's Office says an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old died Saturday when the tree toppled onto the back of their family's car in Lufkin while it was in motion. Capt. Alton Lenderman says the parents, who were in the front seats, were not injured.

Additional details were not immediately available. In nearby Cherokee County, winds of up to 60 mph damaged two homes in the town of Alto, about 140 miles north of Houston.

Earlier Saturday, authorities said about a dozen people in Texas had been injured in powerful storms that have spawned at least one suspected tornado and damaged homes and other property.

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. Franklin is a small city about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Dallas,

He says two people were taken to a hospital with injuries that aren't thought to be life-threatening and that about a dozen others were treated at the scene for minor injuries, including people who had to be extricated from their homes.

Yezak says two of the people injured Saturday when a likely tornado touched down near the cities of Hearne and Franklin were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

National Weather Service meteorologist Monique Sellers says the agency received reports of downed trees, and damage to buildings and a transmission tower.

The storms are part of a large system moving through the southern U.S.

The storm system is expected to impact southwest Alabama overnight and into Saturday morning.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency on Saturday urged Alabama residents to prepare for potential severe weather moving through the state Saturday night into Sunday.

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