HomeTechnologyWinter storm in the US brings warnings of more tornadoes and blizzards

Winter storm in the US brings warnings of more tornadoes and blizzards

DALLAS (AP) — A destructive winter storm swept across the United States Wednesday, bringing blizzard-like conditions to the Great Plains hours after tornadoes touched down in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Five tornadoes have been confirmed in North Texas as of Tuesday afternoon based on eyewitness reports and video, but a dozen may have occurred, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, Texas reported.

Dozens of homes and businesses were damaged by the storm line, and several people were injured in the suburbs and counties extending north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. More than 1,000 flights to and from area airports have been delayed and more than 100 cancelled, according to the FlightAware tracking service.

Two people were missing and homes were destroyed Tuesday when a tornado hit Four Forts, Louisiana, about 10 miles from Shreveport, said Sgt. Casey Jones of the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“I hope they’re with the family somewhere,” Jones said. There were no immediate reports of deaths.

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The severe weather threat continued through Wednesday for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, according to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Blizzard warnings were extended from Montana westward to Nebraska and Colorado, and the National Weather Service said up to 2 feet (61 centimeters) of snow was possible in some areas of western South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska. Winds of more than 50 mph (80 kph) will sometimes make it impossible to see outdoors in Nebraska, authorities said.

“Basically, no one is traveling right now,” said Justin McCallum, manager of the Flying J truck stop in Ogallala, Nebraska.

Forecasters expect the storm system to hobble the upper Midwest with ice, rain and snow for days, as well as move into the northeast and central Appalachians. Residents from West Virginia to Vermont were told to watch for a possible significant mix of snow, ice and sleet, and the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch Wednesday night through Friday afternoon, depending on the time of the storm.

In Grapevine, a Dallas suburb, police spokeswoman Amanda McNew reported five confirmed injuries Tuesday.

A potential tornado blew the roof off the city’s service center, a municipal facility, leaving pieces of the roof dangling from power lines, said Trent Kelley, deputy director of Grapevine Parks and Recreation.

It was also garbage day, so the storm picked up and scattered garbage everywhere, he said.

Photos submitted by the city showed downed power lines on rain-soaked streets, as well as downed trees, damaged buildings and a semi-truck that appeared to have been dumped in a parking lot.

In Colorado, all roads in the northeast quadrant of the state were closed. Severe weather in the ranching country could also threaten livestock. Extreme winds can push cattle through fences as they follow the direction of the gale, said Jim Santomaso, northeast representative for the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.

“If this continues,” Santomaso said, “cattle could be driven for miles.”

A blizzard warning has been issued for North Shore Minnesota as some areas expect up to 24 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 40 mph. And in the southern part of the state, winds gusting up to 50 mph (80 kph) reduced visibility.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Melissa Dye in the Twin Cities said this is a “long duration event” with snow, ice and rain through Friday night. Minnesota expected a lull on Wednesday, followed by a second round of snow.

Groves reported from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Associated Press writers Ken Miller in Oklahoma City; Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas; Sam Metz in Salt Lake City; Trisha Ahmed in Minneapolis; Jesse Bedayn in Denver; Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska; and Robert Jablon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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