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Severe weather forecast for parts of Gulf Coast; at least 2 dead in Louisiana

(CNN) — At least two people in Louisiana are dead after extreme overnight weather, authorities say, as severe weather along the northern Gulf Coast impacts almost 65 million people.

Emergency officials in St. Landry Parish report one death and seven injuries after a possible tornado hit early Saturday, Jessie Bellard, parish president, said in a statement.

On Friday night, a 48-year-old Shreveport man was killed when a tree fell on the mobile home he was in, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

A level 3 out of 5 severe weather threat has been issued for parts of the Gulf Coast on Saturday, affecting nearly 6 million people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

Forecasters say the greatest danger in those areas is from damaging wind, but isolated tornadoes are possible, along with large hail.

Flash flooding is also possible along the Gulf Coast with storms moving through Saturday.

A wider level 1 out of 5 threat extends north into the Ohio River Valley and east to the mid-Atlantic, impacting over 60 million people. Strong thunderstorms with gusty winds are possible.

By Saturday night, the severe threat will begin to diminish. As the storms near the East Coast in Georgia and the Carolinas, they may dissipate while showers move into central Florida.

Possible tornado hits early Saturday

The St. Landry Parish statement said a possible tornado hit at 2:15 a.m. Saturday, touching down on Bolden Road near a state wildlife management area.

“The National Weather Service out of Lake Charles will make a site assessment today and analyze radar damage to determine the size of the possible tornado,” Bellard said.

Power crews, public works and animal control officials were “working on debris clearance and restoring power to the area” on Saturday, said the statement.

The Shreveport man died when a tree hit his home Friday night around 6:30, said Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator in a news release.

Deputies “found a large tree on top of the mobile home where two people had been inside,” the release said. The man was found inside, and the home had extensive damage inside and out, said the release.

A neighbor helped a woman out of the home after hearing the tree fall and then called 911, according to the release. The woman was not injured.

Sheriff’s deputies reported strong winds in the area at the time of the incident, said the release.

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