A tornado that tore through Louisiana on Tuesday while a destructive winter storm was still moving across the country left one girl dead and her mother missing.
As the powerful storm moved northward on Wednesday, leaving a path of destruction, at least 10 million people are currently under winter weather advisories or watches.
At least five tornadoes were reportedly triggered by the storm in Texas on Tuesday alone, but analysts believe there may have been even more that have not yet been officially confirmed.
And late Tuesday night, the Caddo Parish Sheriff in Louisiana said that several mobile homes had been burned nearby, leaving one girl dead, her mother missing, and a third woman hospitalized. Overnight, searches continued.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the storm persisted:
- According to the Storm Prediction Center, the possibility of severe weather persisted into Wednesday for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
- Blizzard warnings extended from Montana into western Nebraska and Colorado.
- North Texas had five tornadoes that were confirmed as of Tuesday afternoon.
- A number of people were hurt in Dallas’s suburbs.
-Fort Worth region
- Over 100 flights were canceled and over 1,000 flights into and out of airports were delayed.
- 22 people were hurt on Monday morning in Utah when a bus overturned.
In Four Forts, Louisiana, which is about 10 miles from Shreveport, a tornado struck on Tuesday, leaving two individuals unaccounted for and destroying homes, according to Sgt. Casey Jones of the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Following the incident, two persons were listed as missing, according to KSLA, and one woman was brought to a nearby hospital. Sheriff Steve Pator announced the discovery of the child’s body at roughly 11.30 p.m., but she is still missing her mother.
In the parish, where even a nearby forest was destroyed when the storms tore through the area, deputies are still going home to house to check on the wellbeing of the locals.
According to video and eyewitness accounts, five tornadoes were confirmed to have happened in Texas’ north as of Tuesday afternoon, but a dozen tornadoes may have actually occurred, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, Texas.
The line of thunderstorms north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area caused dozens of homes and businesses to sustain damage, as well as multiple injuries. According to the flight tracking service FlightAware, over 100 flights were canceled and over 1,000 flights into and out of nearby airports were delayed.
According to the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth, Tarrant County experienced three of the Texas twisters.
The most powerful was measured to have an EF-1 rating, which means it endured wind gusts of 86 to 110 mph for at least three seconds in a row.
An EF-2 tornado with wind gusts of 125 mph was also reported in Grapevine, a city close to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Up to five people were reported injured, and a shopping mall, a Sam’s Club, and a Walmart were among the businesses that were damaged.
Five verified injuries were reported by police spokesman Amanda McNew on Tuesday.
According to Trent Kelley, deputy director of Grapevine Parks and Recreation, a potential tornado tore off the roof of the city’s service center, a municipal building, and left roof fragments dangling from powerlines.
Additionally, it was trash day, so the storm gathered up and dispersed debris everywhere, according to him.
In addition to broken power lines on wet roadways, felled trees, damaged structures, and a semitrailer that appeared to have been thrown about a parking lot, pictures released by the city also revealed damaged buildings.
Additionally, gas stations were destroyed, and because of the fallen trees and obstructed sections of one road, traffic was reduced to a single lane.
Just west of Paris, a smaller tornado was also observed.
On Wednesday, officials will assess the damage in those places.
However, the National Weather Service asserts that it believes there may have been up to 12 tornadoes in the area that have not yet been officially certified, based on radar and damage reports.
As debris lifted into the air and the skies darkened in the middle of the day, videos shared online demonstrated the force of the wind gusts.
According to the authorities, one person was hurt when their automobile was overturned by strong winds, and the other person, who was also in a car at the time, was hurt in Wise County by flying debris.
They mentioned that one of the people was taken to a neighborhood hospital, but they did not say which one.
The strong winds also destroyed barns close to Jacksboro, blew over tractor-trailers near Millsap and Weatherford, and destroyed trees and residences in Callisburg, north of Dallas.
According to the Storm Prediction Center, the threat of severe weather persisted into Wednesday for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
The National Weather Service reported that up to two feet of snow was likely in certain parts of western South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska, and that blizzard warnings extended from Montana into western Nebraska and Colorado.
Officials in Nebraska warned that visibility outside will occasionally be difficult due to winds of more than 50 mph.
Almost no one is now traveling, according to Justin McCallum, manager of the Flying J truck stop in Ogallala, Nebraska.
The storm system is expected to sweep into the Northeast and central Appalachians as well as engulf the upper Midwest in days’ worth of ice, rain, and snow.
Depending on the timing of the storm, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Wednesday night through Friday afternoon, warning residents from West Virginia to Vermont to be on the lookout for a potential substantial mix of snow, ice, and sleet.
Meanwhile, a verified EF-2 tornado in Wayne, Oklahoma destroyed power and hurt homes, sheds, and barns.
After the twister stayed on the ground for at least three miles with wind gusts of up to 125 mph, the homes there were observed flattened with their roofs torn off and trees snapped like twigs.
According to Bill Taylor of the National Weather Service, a “one-in-five-year” storm passed through Nebraska on Tuesday and is forecast to stay in the region through the end of the week.
The state’s Department of Transportation reports that numerous roads are closed, including all of the ones leading from Nebraska into Colorado, and that blizzard warnings have been issued for the entire state, according to information provided online by the NWS.
They reached portions of northeast Colorado, western Nebraska, and South Dakota on Tuesday in addition to regions of Montana and Wyoming.
During periods of significant snowfall and low visibility, there are at least three hours of steady winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or higher.
According to a spokeswoman for the Kansas Highways Patrol, those kinds of circumstances were already observed during the morning and early afternoon hours close to the Colorado-Kansas state boundary, when visibility along I-70 was reduced to only 100 feet.
In the northeastern part of Colorado, all roads were shut down. Livestock may potentially be at danger due to the extreme weather in the ranching area. According to Jim Santomaso, a northeast spokesman for the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, strong winds can force livestock through fences as they move in the direction of the gale.
Santomaso remarked, “If this continues, cattle could drift miles.”
On Minnesota’s north shore, a blizzard warning has been issued because certain locations might receive up to 24 inches of snow and 40 mph wind gusts. In addition, winds in the state’s south that reached 50 mph had a negative impact on visibility.
This is a “long duration event,” according to Melissa Dye of the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities, with snow, ice, and rain continuing until Friday night. On Wednesday, Minnesota was anticipating a respite followed by another bout of snow.
The Sierra Nevada and western United States recently saw severe snowfall from the same weather system.
One to two feet of snow have already been reported in some areas of Wyoming, and the state’s Department of Transportation said the snow is obstructing roads.
The department said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that there was “not a single green length of road in the state.”
Routes across the entire state (as well as in other adjacent states) are being impacted by strong winds, blowing snow, whiteout conditions, and slick patches.
The government warned motorists to pay attention to the road conditions, saying that several state-wide streets are closed as a result of accidents and other winter-related situations.
Additionally, according to CNN, winds whipped at 53 mph in Sidney, Nebraska, reducing visibility to just a quarter of a mile.
The storm system now poses a possibility of causing blizzard conditions in the north and considerably greater destruction in the south.
According to CNN, heavy, blowing snow and/or freezing rain on Thursday could impede traffic and pose a hazard of power outages across the central and northern Plains and upper Midwest.
In the central and northern Plains and Upper Midwest, snowfall through Wednesday morning could total up to 10 to 18 inches, according to meteorologists.
However, areas in northwest Nebraska, eastern Wyoming, and western South Dakota could receive 24 inches of snow along with winds powerful enough to bring down tree branches and disrupt power.
A warning for an ice storm is also in effect for parts of eastern South Dakota, where meteorologists forecast up to two-tenths of an inch of ice there.
The state’s Department of Transportation has issued a warning that this snowy precipitation “will begin to extend eastward over the Upper Great Lakes late Tuesday and Wednesday, and into the northeast late Wednesday.”
Additionally, a tornado watch is still in effect until 2am CST for western Mississippi, southwest Arkansas, and northeast Louisiana. It covers more than 1.5 million residents in Louisianan communities including Alexandria and Shreveport.
The region is under a severe weather alert, and a zone of low risk extended into eastern Texas, southern Oklahoma, Arkansas, and much of Louisiana.
The Storm Prediction Center stated that “a few tornadoes and a couple severe tornadoes [are] conceivable.”
On Wednesday, the area may experience flash floods as a result of catastrophic gusts that might gust as high as 70 mph.