On Wednesday the Weather Channel warned of more strong winds, heavy rainfall and risk of tornadoes across southern states. The alert comes in the aftermath of several damaging twisters which touched down in Alabama and Mississippi.

Nobody was reported killed in the incidents, but damage to churches, residential areas and a federal prison hit the headlines. A mobile home park in Sapps, Alabama saw widespread damage, with one mobile home torn completed in half by the winds.

It appears the federal prison in Aliceville was in the path of the same tornado that hit Sapps in Alabama. A local deputy sheriff confirmed damage to windows and buildings, adding, “They’re trying to take care of the inmates right now.”

Climatologists are blaming the same weather system that recently caused blizzards and whiteouts along the Midwest and Great Plains. A swathe of severe thunderstorms are predicted to affect the US in the next few hours. Weather charts show storm systems running in a line from southern Mississippi to right the way up to northern Virginia.

Storm chaser and meteorologist, Quincy Vagell, managed to capture footage of one tornado near the town of Scooba, Mississippi. In the footage high winds can be seen destroying trees.

Collinsville, Mississippi was reported to be one of the towns hardest hit, with a number of residences completely destroyed, and damage to the First Baptist Church. A spokesman for the church said significant structural damage had occurred, but that no-one was injured, “praise be to God.” Officials in the town, it was reported, had asked for a state of emergency to be declared.

Flash flooding was reported around the Memphis metro area on Tuesday. That same night, five homes in Star Mississippi were evacuated of residents due to the flood risk. This winter has already seen severe snowfall along the Eastern seaboard and damaging winds and ice in parts of California.