Blizzards and tornadoes wreak havoc as massive winter storm sweeps across US

US News

A massive winter storm spawned several tornadoes, leaving buildings wrecked and several people injured, and caused widespread disruption across large parts of the US.

Emergency services including sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, volunteers and dog teams were searching the debris after a tornado touched down about 10 miles from Shreveport, Louisiana, on Tuesday.

The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office said two people were missing, one was hurt and several buildings were destroyed.

Officials said they were now focusing their search on finding the missing people after the tornado swept through Four Forts.

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“I’m hoping they’re with family somewhere”, Sergeant Casey Jones said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths.

Blizzard warnings

Rain from a winter storm creates icy conditions  on Tuesday, Dec.13, 2022, in Sioux Falls, SD. A massive storm blowing across the country spawned tornadoes in parts of Oklahoma and Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as much of the central United States from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest braced Tuesday for blizzard-like conditions.
Pic:PA
Image:
Pic: AP

Far to the northwest, an area stretching from Montana into western Nebraska and Colorado was under blizzard warnings, and the National Weather Service said as much as two feet (0.6m) of snow was possible in some areas of western South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska.

Ice and sleet were expected in the eastern Great Plains.

Forecasters expect the storm system to hobble the upper Midwest with ice, rain and snow for days, as well as move into the northeastern and central Appalachians.

Residents from West Virginia to Vermont were also told to watch out for a possible significant mix of snow, ice and sleet, and the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Wednesday night through to Friday afternoon.

The severe weather threat also continues into Wednesday for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, according to the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma.

In the south, a line of thunderstorms brought tornadoes, damaging winds, hail and heavy rain across north Texas and Oklahoma in the early morning hours, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Bradshaw.

A greenhouse sits on a fence in the backyard of Randy Popiel's home after a possible tornado in Grapevine, Texas, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (El..as Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
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Tornado damage in Grapevine, Texas. Pic: AP

Delayed flights

Authorities on Tuesday reported dozens of damaged homes and businesses and several people injured in the suburbs and counties stretching north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

A tornado warning prompted the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to issue a “shelter in place” order on Tuesday morning, asking passengers to move away from windows, the airport announced on Twitter.

More than 1,000 flights into and out of airports in the area were delayed, and more than 100 were cancelled, according to the tracking service FlightAware.

In nearby Grapevine, police spokesperson Amanda McNew reported five confirmed injuries.

“We’re starting the process of going through the city looking at damage to property, to businesses, homes and then roads,” she said.

Images showed downed power lines on rain-soaked streets, as well as toppled trees, damaged buildings and a trailer that appeared to have been tossed around a car park.

Crews survey damage from a possible tornado in Grapevine, Texas, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (El..as Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
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Tornado damage in Grapevine, Texas. Pic: AP
Belinda Penner  watches  Jr. Ibarra, and Jared Reaves carry a beam from her cousin's tornado destroyed home in Oklahoma
Pic:AP
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Clearing up wreckage in Oklahoma. Pic:AP

Roads closed

Meanwhile, a tornado damaged the Oklahoma town of Wayne shortly after 5am on Tuesday.

There was widespread damage but no deaths or injuries.

A road closed sign hangs on a shuttered gate to prevent traffic from entering the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 at East Airpark Road Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Aurora, Colo. A massive winter storm has closed roads throughout northeast Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Roads were closed throughout northeast Colorado. Pic: AP
Damian Reinhold surveys damage to trees brought down by a tornado outside his friend's home, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Wayne, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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Trees were brought down in Oklahoma. Pic: AP

In parts of Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota, power outages, tree damage, falling branches and hazardous travel conditions threatened the region.

“There’s essentially no one travelling right now,” said Justin McCallum, a manager at the Flying J truck stop at Ogallala, Nebraska.

In Colorado, all roads were closed in the northeast quadrant of the state.

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