Mother and son killed in tornado in northern Louisiana

A tornado killed two people as it tore through the northern Louisiana city of Ruston early Thursday, officials said.

The tornado caused severe damage to buildings, vehicles and power lines and forced a local university to cancel classes.

Communications director for the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Mike Steele said a mother and son in Lincoln Parish, which Ruston lies in, were killed when a tree fell on their home overnight.

Steele said he could not confirm their names or ages. He said those were currently the only deaths reported in Louisiana during the storm, but that rescue workers were still combing the area.

National Weather Service hydrologist C. S. Ross said it appears the tornado cut a track over 130 miles (209 kilometers) from eastern Texas to near the Louisiana-Arkansas border.

Louisiana Tech University President Les Guice said on Twitter that classes were canceled Thursday. The university said no students were reported injured, but that trees and power lines were down in several places on campus.

The tornado was part of a severe weather system that pounded Texas with rain Wednesday, killing a woman and her two children whose vehicle was caught in flash flood waters.

The storm moved into Mississippi on Thursday morning.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Twitter that state police and the Louisiana National Guard were assisting local responders and that he was travelling to Ruston to assess the damage.