A severe-storm warning was given for New Orleans overnight as more rain moved in and flooding began on some city streets, with reports of 2 to 3 feet of water on roads. A possible tornado touched down in Gentilly, La., early today, while a roof was blown off a house.
Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May, while in the northern U.S. states storms rattle regions from late spring through early summer. April is typically the worst period for the South, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop.
As a tornado ripped through the operating facility for Schneider National, a trucking company, it tossed 30,000-pound trucks high into the air, spinning them around before smashing them to the ground hundreds of yards away. Flattened and crumpled trailers littered the area in the aftermath of the twister.
Robert Cluck, the mayor of Arlington, Texas, declared a state of emergency to last for up to seven days, citing "widespread and severe damage."
The city also set up a disaster center. A disaster area was also declared by local officials in Lancaster, Texas, where about 300 homes were damaged.
"I guess shock is probably a good word," Lancaster Mayor Marcus Knight said Tuesday.
American Airlines canceled more than 450 arriving and departing flights at its hub, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, by Tuesday afternoon. Airport spokesman David Magaña told WFAA that more than 110 planes were damaged by hail.