Severe Storm Sweeps Southern US, 11 Dead

Clay Curtis
January 13, 2020

At least three homes were destroyed by the Arkansas tornado, said Logan County Emergency Management Coordinator Tobi Miller, but no injuries were reported.

Firefighters found the bodies of an elderly couple Saturday morning near their demolished trailer, the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office said via Facebook. In Caddo parish, a man was killed when a tree fell on his home. Raymond Holden was in bed when the tree fell on his home, crushing him.

Other structures had parts of their roofs ripped off and downed power lines were strewn across roads. Both were expected to survive.

The national Storm Prediction Center said Friday more than 18 million people in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma were at an enhanced risk of storms Friday, including from strong tornadoes, flooding rains and wind gusts that could exceed 80 miles per hour (129 kph), the speed of a Category 1 hurricane.

Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas on Saturday morning were clear of the severe thunderstorms that had passed through the night before.

A fourth person was killed on Friday when a vehicle slid off the road and into a creek in Dallas, NBC news reported. Furthermore, lightning from Friday's stormy weather was believed to be responsible for two house fires in the northern Texas cities of Burleson and Mansfield. Officials said no one was injured.

The southern part of the United States faced thunderstorms and tornadoes on Saturday, and parts of the Midwest and Northeast are bracing for snow and ice storms throughout the weekend as the storms sweep up from the South, according to CNN.

The storms left more than 200,000 people without electricity early Sunday, the poweroutage.us website said, with North Carolina and Alabama among the worst affected areas. About 20,000 customers were without power in Louisiana.

Deaths were reported in the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.

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In Chicago, strong winds - including gusts over 50 miles per hour - accompanied light snow and rain Saturday morning.

At least nine people have died, more than 1,000 flights have been cancelled and hundreds of thousands are without power in seven U.S. states as a massive winter storm system dumped snow, freezing rain and hail.

Television station KCCI reported that a westbound semitrailer on Interstate 80 crashed just after midnight Saturday in Cedar County, east of Iowa City.

A man drowned near Kiowa, Oklahoma, after he was swept away in floodwaters, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said on Saturday.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said portions of several highways in the southeastern part of the state were closed due to flooding.

On Alabama's Gulf Coast, Baldwin County canceled school activities including sporting events for Saturday. The National Weather Service said on Twitter that it appeared to have maximum winds of 65 miles per hour (nearly 105 kph).

Storms also unleashed downpours causing widespread flash flooding. Parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois and IN were under flash flood warnings or watches on Saturday. Winter weather prompted the cancellation of more than 1,200 flights Saturday at Chicago's two main airports.

Winter weather advisories have been issued in areas from Kansas to MI, with severe snow and ice storms in the forecast.

Up to 12 inches of snow is expected in parts of the Great Lakes region.

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