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Deadly tornadoes and storms sweep through deep South

At least six people were killed as tornadoes and severe storms hit four Southern states Wednesday evening and early Thursday. Two died when a "large and dangerous" twister tore through Marshall County in southern Oklahoma. 

What the National Weather Service called "an extremely dangerous tornado" ripped through Polk County in Southeast Texas, killing three, injuring as many as 30 and causing widespread damage.

Authorities said one person was killed in severe weather in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. A tornado was also reported in the Jackson, Mississippi area early Thursday morning.

The Oklahoma funnel hit in the Madill area, near the Red River, about 4:30 p.m., causing widespread damage to the town, including its residential neighborhoods, said Donny Raley, the city's emergency manager. 

One person's body was found about a quarter-mile from J&I Manufacturing, a trailer factory about six miles southwest of Madill, Marshall County Emergency Management Director Robert Chaney said, adding that the funnel hit the plant just as its workforce was leaving for the day.

A tornado hits Durant, Oklahoma
This image made from video provided by Thomas Marcum shows a tornado seen from State Highway 48 in Durant, Oklahoma, on  April 22, 2020 Thomas Marcum / AP

The storm also hit the Oklahoma Steel and Wire plant, a fence wire manufacturer on the south side of Madill, which is the county seat of Marshall County and home to about 4,000 residents.

The Texas tornado touched down about 6 p.m. near Onalaska, about 75 miles north of Houston. The storm rumbled east through Seven Oaks and beyond, severely damaging homes and other structures, according to Carrie Miller, a spokeswoman for Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy. 

Zachary Botley told CBS Houston affiliate KHOU-TV he'd just pulled over at a store when he spotted the cloud.

"I see the mushroom cloud. It got to forming like a tornado," he said.

After recording some video, he headed to his grandmother's house in Seven Oaks.

"Trees snapped over. Pine trees snapped over. Her roof was gone. Just unbearable," he said.

He said his grandmother wasn't there when the twister hit. She's safe, but won't be returning to her home anytime soon.

A woman was killed on a bridge in Woodworth, Louisiana, 15 miles south of Alexandria, in the severe weather, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office told KALB-TV. No details were provided on how she died.

The Alexandria campus of Louisiana State University also saw some damage from the storm. The university tweeted, "All resident students safe. There is damage to DeWitt Livestock building and a camper flipped over." The campus was also left without power. 

The Clarion Ledger reported that storms were moving through Mississippi early Thursday, bringing the threat of tornadoes, flooding and wind surges. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in Mississippi early Thursday. 

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