Tornadoes hit Texas and Louisiana as storms hit the south
A wide range of extreme weather is spreading across the United States as storms threaten heavy snowfall in the Southwest and a severe weather system brings the triple threat of tornadoes, damaging winds and rain in the south.
About 35 million people in parts of the Southern and Southern Plains are threatened Thursday by severe thunderstorms – the worst of which could bring multiple rounds of fierce winds, large hail and tornadoes, the Storm Prediction Center said.
“Thursday and Thursday evening: An intensifying system is expected to produce significant severe storms and heavy rain that could cause flash flooding,” the National Weather Service said. warned. “Now think about what (to do) during a warning wherever you expected to be.”
On Thursday evening, the Storm Prediction Center listed several tornado reports in Texas and one in Louisiana at 7:40 p.m. CT.
In Shreveport, Louisiana, David Langston was in a dry cleaning store when a tornado hit, he told CNN affiliate KSLA.
“The wind started picking up, and this lady said, ‘My babies are in the car,’” Langston told the station. “And she wanted me to help her, and I said, ‘Let’s go.’ But all of a sudden the wind got so strong that I said, ‘No ma’am, don’t come out.’ ”
His car was under a sign. If we had been there, I mean, we would have been hit by this sign.
Langston said they rescued the two young children, unharmed, after the winds died down. “It just happened, and 20 seconds later it was gone,” he said. “And I mean, total chaos. Glass shattering everywhere.
A tornado watch issued Thursday night for parts of southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana was expected to last until midnight.
A moderate level 4 in 5 threat of severe storms is in place for more than 8 million people in eastern Texas, northern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas and southeastern USA. Oklahoma. These areas include Dallas; Fort Worth, TX; and Shreveport, Louisiana.
The storms coincided with power outages in Texas. More than 320,000 homes and businesses in Texas were without power as of 9:15 p.m. CT, according to utility tracker PowerOutage.us.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area Thursday afternoon was also placed under a tornado watch which was expected to last until 10 p.m. CT. A line of severe storms crossing Texas brought multiple gusts of wind in the 60-80 mph range through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
In the Dallas suburb of McKinney, people were injured when four tractor-trailers on the same stretch of highway were overturned. McKinney police did not say how many people were injured.
Due to thunderstorms, a ground stop was in effect Thursday night for Austin and San Antonio airports, meaning planes bound for Dallas must be held at their originating airports, Federal Aviation said. Administration. Previously, there was a ground stop for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
Memphis, TN; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Waco, Texas face a level 3 out of 5 severe storm risk. Cities with a level 2 out of 5 risk include Houston; Austin, TX; and Jackson, Mississippi.
In Miller County, Arkansas, two people were not injured despite being trapped in a house that collapsed during the storms, according to Michael Godfrey, director of the county’s emergency management office.
Torrential rains in the system are also of concern. Rain could fall as quickly as 2 inches per hour in the strongest storms, leading to flash flooding.
More than 24 million people are under flood watch from Oklahoma to Ohio. Up to 5 inches of rain are forecast for the region, and isolated totals could exceed 8 inches.
The threat of severe weather will shift to the Southeast on Friday and the Ohio Valley on Friday, with Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta and Louisville at risk.
And the same storm system is expected to bring heavy snow and ice to the Northeast and Great Lakes regions by this weekend.
This long winter storm has already wreaked havoc across the West, with snow in New Mexico expected to continue through Thursday afternoon. Up to 5 inches is possible at low elevations, while 8 to 18 inches can drop at high elevations.
On Wednesday, heavy snowfall flooded the Four Corners region where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico meet.
More than 22 inches of snow fell Wednesday in downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, according to the local weather services office.
In Southern California, massive amounts of snow this week left roads blocked and impassable for days. Several areas of the state saw more than 100 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
The California Department of Transportation said it has so far away more than 7 million cubic meters of snow – enough to fill 2,232 Olympic swimming pools.
Statewide, about 52,000 homes and businesses still had no power as of Thursday morning, according to PowerOutage.us.
Across California, several days of heavy snowfall knocked out power to thousands, made roads impassable and trapped residents in their homes.
The California National Guard will arrive in the San Bernardino Mountains on Thursday to help dig up snow-capped communities, according to the Office of State Emergency Services (CalOES). Nearly 100 inches of snow have fallen on the communities of Lake Arrowhead and Crestline in recent days.
Aerial footage from the CNN affiliate shows neighborhoods with indistinguishable streets, homes with snow reaching second story windows and a local supermarket with its roof collapsed due to heavy snow.
Governor Gavin Newsom has declared states of emergency for 13 counties, including San Bernardino County, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
Mount Baldy, outside Los Angeles, has recorded 106 inches of snowfall since Feb. 22. More than a quarter of all that snowfall fell in two days this week.
Huntington Lake in the Sierra Mountains was blanketed in 144 inches of snow over a six-day period this week, according to the Fresno County Office of Emergency Services. The bureau also reported 10 to 12 feet of snow near China Peak, which closed Highway 16.
While California is enjoying a brief respite from snowfall for the rest of this week, another system is expected to settle in Northern California this weekend.
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