Published: Mon, January 13, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Severe Storm Sweeps Southern US, 11 Dead

Severe Storm Sweeps Southern US, 11 Dead

Homes were damaged or destroyed in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas on Friday but no injuries were reported. The storm had "moved their home from its foundation to some 200 feet away", authorities said.

The National Weather Service said three people were confirmed dead on Saturday in Alabama, where local channel WHNT News 19 showed buildings reduced to rubble. And in Oil City, a tree fell on a home, killing a man, Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said.

The National Weather Service said a tornado with 135 miles per hour (215 kph) winds hit the area.

A firefighter and a police officer in Lubbock, Texas, were killed after a vehicle slid on ice-slicked US Interstate Highway 27 as they were investigating a traffic accident, Lubbock Fire officials said.

The NWS in Birmingham said via Twitter the three deaths in Alabama occurred in Pickens county, and that an "embedded tornado within a long line of intense thunderstorms" was the cause of the deaths.

Tornado watches Friday night covered parts of eastern Texas, northwestern Louisiana, southern Missouri and much of Arkansas.

Dallas police say one person died Friday night when a auto flipped into a creek west of downtown Dallas. Lightning from Friday's stormy weather was suspected of causing fires that burned two houses by caused no injuries in the North Texas cities of Burleson and Mansfield.

"The ice and wind will make driving treacherous, and trees can snap and knock out power and do other damage", he said.

More than 40 million people are under flood watch, 25 million are under winter weather alerts and more than 20 million are under extreme wind advisories through Sunday. About 12,000 customers were still without power Sunday afternoon, NYSEG said.

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

In Tennessee, damage was widespread throughout Shelby County, the state's most populous county, which includes Memphis. Southwestern Electric Power Co. reported almost 5,000 customers in East Texas were without power Saturday morning. The national Storm Prediction Centre said more than 18million people in people in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma were at an enhanced risk from Friday's storms.

On Alabama's Gulf Coast, Baldwin County canceled school activities including sporting events that were scheduled for Saturday.

The National Weather Service in Shreveport, Louisiana, said a tornado with winds of about 217 kilometres per hour had touched down in Bossier Parish.

An already deadly line of powerful storms is bearing down on the eastern half of the United States, threatening risky winds and tornadoes in the South and potentially crippling snow and ice in the Midwest through the weekend, with heavy rain and flooding in between.

The storms, bringing the threat of ice and snow to the Chicago area, prompted the cancellation of more than 1,200 flights at Chicago's two main airports.

Delays at O'Hare and Midway were averaging around 15 minutes, the department said.

The weather service issued a winter weather advisory, flood watch and lake-shore flood warning for the Chicago metropolitan area for Saturday and a winter storm warning for adjacent areas of north-western IL.

The NWS said more than 18 million people in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma remained at risk of tornadoes and flooding rains.

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