More than 260,000 without power, tornado sirens sound as winds hit Texas and the South
Tornado sirens sounded in Dallas and other parts of Texas on Thursday, and high winds toppled several tractor-trailers as extreme weather battered parts of that state and others, officials said. .
No deaths were immediately reported, but Texas utility Oncor said more than 260,000 homes and businesses were without power Thursday night.
Tornadoes were reported in Franklin and Hopkins counties in Texas, east of Dallas, and in the Shreveport, Louisiana area, the National Weather Service said. Storm surveys are conducted to confirm whether reported tornadoes have actually occurred.
The high, damaging winds in parts of the southern United States came as mountainous regions of southern California remained buried under feet of snow that left people trapped, authorities said.
Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for 13 counties and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said MREs would be airlifted to affected communities by helicopter. The California National Guard said Thursday a UH-60 Blackhawk was being sent to help.
“We know the roofs are starting to crumble,” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dawn Rowe, whose district includes some of the hardest-hit areas, said Wednesday.
About 10 feet of snow fell in some of the county’s mountain communities east of Los Angeles, the county fire department said.
Plowing was being done around the clock to try to clear the roads, the California Department of Transportation, known as Caltrans, said.
County Fire Chief Dan Munsey said Wednesday he responded to nearly 100 calls for help.
The National Weather Service said that the snow total for Snow Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains was 120 inches, or 10 feet, from Feb. 22 through Wednesday. In Crestline, where a grocery store roof collapsed this week, the amount was 91 inches.
Andrew Braggins, 43, told The Associated Press that his kitchen ceiling at Crestline began to bow under the weight of all the snow, prompting him to shovel his roof – where 5ft had accumulated .
“I have friends a few blocks away, and they’ve been without power for days,” Braggins said. “You can stock up for a storm. But this storm kept coming.
In Texas and the South on Thursday evening, tornado watches covered about 3.5 million people, according to the weather service. The watches stretched from east of Dallas to Arkansas and northern Louisiana.
Louisiana State University in Shreveport suffered minor damage after a storm hit around 5:45 p.m. There were no injuries, but the winds were strong enough for two shipping containers parked in a campus parking lot were moved, said university communications director Erin Smith.
The Shreveport Weather Service said it would investigate possible damage areas in the area to see if any tornadoes had developed. Video shared by the agency appeared to show one in Shreveport.
NBC Dallas Fort-Worth reported that its crews spotted five overturned tractor-trailers on freeways north and east of Dallas.
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