Storms sweep across southern states in US causing death and destruction

A damaged house in Monroe, Louisiana, after a tornado ripped through the town Credit: Nicolas Galindo/The News-Star via AP

Strong storms have pounded the Deep South in the United States, killing at least six people in southern Mississippi and damaging up to 300 homes and other buildings in Louisiana.

Much of the region remains under flash flood, tornado and thunderstorm warnings.

The National Weather Service said strong winds were sweeping through other parts of Mississippi, and a tornado was spotted north of Meridian near the Alabama state line.

Mississippi governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency after he said several tornadoes had struck the state.

Rolanda Robinson calls family and friends from her brother’s damaged home in Monroe Credit: Nicolas Galindo/The News-Star via AP

“This is not how anyone wants to celebrate Easter,” Mr Reeves said on Twitter.

The National Weather Service advised that thunderstorms would shift across the south-east and mid-Atlantic states on Monday, bringing potential tornadoes, wind and hail.

Around 750,000 people were without power in a 10-state swathe ranging from Texas to Georgia up to West Virginia, according to officials.

News outlets reported downed trees, flooded streets and other damage in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.

Damaged planes at Monroe Regional Airport Credit: Monroe News Star/Greg Hilburn via AP

Before the storms moved into Mississippi, the weather service reported multiple tornadoes and damaging winds over much of northern Louisiana.

The mayor of Monroe, Jamie Mayo,said that the storm damaged 200-300 homes in and around the city in Louisiana. Flights were cancelled at Monroe Regional Airport.

In north-west Louisiana, officials reported damage to dozens of homes in DeSoto and Webster parishes.

In Morgan County, Alabama, a church roof and steeple were damaged by lightning.