Speed Reads

Nature's Nightmares

Louisiana mother, toddler killed when tornado destroys home

An extreme thunderstorm system stretching across the South spawned a tornado responsible for the deaths Sunday morning of a 38-year-old woman and her 3-year-old daughter in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

The St. Martin Parish's sheriff's office said a tornado flipped over Francine Gotch's trailer, killing her and her daughter, Neville Alexander. A second tornado was confirmed Sunday afternoon, southeast of Monroe. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center issued a "high risk" warning on Sunday, and the National Weather Service announced a "particularly dangerous situation" tornado watch from east Texas into west-central Mississippi.

Louisiana, Mississippi, and a thin sliver of Texas are bracing for tornadoes, massive hail, and high winds, and forecasters predict the system will move east through Monday. "We've got a large territory that these storms are going to be moving across," Danielle Banks, a meteorologist at The Weather Channel, told NBC News. "As we go through the day on Monday, into the heart of the afternoon, those storms are going to be sweeping through states like Georgia and Florida and over into South Carolina and North Carolina."