Science

Tornado kills at least one in the South as blizzard-like conditions affect the Great Plains

A devastating winter storm was rolling across the United States on Wednesday, creating blizzard-like conditions in the Great Plains, hours after tornadoes touched down in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

A tornado killed a young boy and left his mother missing in the Pecan Farm area of ​​Keithville in Caddo Parish in northwest Louisiana, south of Shreveport, according to Sheriff Steve Prater. He said that an adult male and an adult female have been admitted to the hospital.

In Farmerville, in north-central Louisiana, Detective Cade Nolan told CBS News that at least 25 people were injured, at least two seriously, after a tornado passed by. “The most damage I’ve ever seen in 17 years in this (Union) parish,” he said, standing next to an overturned GMC SUV.

CBS Monroe, Louisiana affiliate KNOE-TV is there:

Five tornadoes were confirmed in northern Texas as of Tuesday afternoon based on video and eyewitness reports, but there could potentially be a dozen, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, Texas, reported. Search teams were looking for any other victims.

Dozens of homes and businesses were damaged by the line of storms, and many people were injured in suburbs and counties that extend north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. According to the tracking service FlightAware, more than 1,000 flights were delayed in and out of the region’s airports and more than 100 were cancelled.

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

Blizzard warnings extended from Montana to western Nebraska and Colorado, and the National Weather Service said up to 2 feet of snow could fall in parts of western South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska. Officials said winds in excess of 50 mph at times will make it impossible to see outside in Nebraska.

“Essentially 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 blanket the upper Midwest with snow, rain and ice for several days and move into the Northeast and central Appalachians. Residents from West Virginia to Vermont were told to watch out for a potentially significant mix of snow, ice and sleet, and the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Wednesday night to Friday afternoon, depending on the timing of the storm.

In the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, police spokeswoman Amanda McNew confirmed five people were injured Tuesday.

Grapevine Parks and Recreation deputy director Trent Kelly said a possible tornado blew the roof off the city’s service center — a municipal facility — and pieces of the roof dangled from electrical wires.

They said it was also trash day, so a storm broke out and trash was scattered all over.

Photos sent by the city showed downed power lines on rain-soaked streets, as well as uprooted trees, damaged buildings and a semi-trailer that appeared to be tossed around a parking lot.

A tornado tore through the Oklahoma city of Wayne on Tuesday. McClain County Sheriff’s Capt. Brian Murrell said there were no reports of deaths or injuries, but officials said there was extensive damage. Wayne is about 45 miles south of Oklahoma City.

Murrell said, “We’ve got multiple family structures that have significant damage… barns, power lines are down.”

winter weather oklahoma
Bob Blackwell carries belongings from his daughter’s home that was destroyed by a tornado on December 13, 2022 in Wayne, Okla.

Sue Ogrocki / AP


All roads were closed in the northeast quadrant of Colorado. Livestock can also be at risk from severe weather in the animal husbandry sector. Jim Santomaso, a northeast representative for the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, said extreme winds could push livestock through fences, as they follow the direction of the gale.

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

Blizzard warnings have been issued for the North Shore of Minnesota, with up to 24 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 40 mph expected in some areas. And in the south of the state, winds gusting up to 50 mph were reducing visibility.

Melissa Dye, a National Weather Service meteorologist in the Twin Cities, said it is a “long-period event” with snow, ice and rain expected through Friday night. A lull was expected in Minnesota on Wednesday, followed by more snow again.

uniform weather system There has been heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada and western US in recent days.

, Patrick Torfey contributed reporting.

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