Six die as US winter storm spawns tornadoes

 

Boston, US

A powerful winter storm that spawned tornadoes from Texas to Alabama, killing at least six people and leaving thousands without power, is bringing heavy snow to the Midwest and threatening rain and high wind in the East.

A blizzard warning stretches from northeastern Arkansas to Cleveland, Ohio, where almost 14 inches (35.6 centimeters) of snow is expected to fall by Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Winter storm warnings are in effect from Illinois into Maine.

"The storm right now is over Tennessee and heavy snow is falling over southern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio," said Gary Best, a meteorologist with Hometown Forecast Services in Nashua, N.H. "On the other side, to the east, there is heavy rain and thunderstorms from Florida, Georgia and into North and South Carolina."

On Tuesday, 532 flights nationwide were canceled and 900 have been scrubbed so far Wednesday, according to Flight Aware, a Houston-based airline tracking service. Most of Wednesday's cancellations are in Indianapolis, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Washington Dulles, New York's LaGuardia and Cleveland, the company said.

Wind and rain along the coast will probably tie up air traffic from Charlotte, N.C., to New York City, while the heavy snow causes problems at airports across the Midwest, Best said.

Homes, hospitals and businesses were damaged from Texas to Florida by tornadoes and high winds from the storm yesterday, and at least 16 people were injured, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. The Associated Press reported at least six people killed.

More than 243,000 homes and businesses were without power at about 8 a.m. Wednesday New York time, most of them in Arkansas, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from utility websites and company spokesmen.

Entergy Arkansas, the state's largest utility, reported 191,293 customers blacked out. An additional 16,525 were without power in western Arkansas and nearby counties in Louisiana and Texas, American Electric Power's Southwestern Electric Power reported on its website.

Coastal North Carolina has the largest chance of being raked by tornadoes and high winds Wednesday, according to the Storm Prediction Center. The area has a 15 percent chance of experiencing a tornado and 46 percent chance of being buffeted by strong winds.

High wind warnings have also been issued from New York City to eastern Massachusetts, including Boston.

Two inches of rain may fall in New York City overnight. There is a threat of coastal flooding in New York and Long Island during high tide later Wednesday, according to the weather service. Tides may be 3 to 5 feet above normal from 8 p.m. to midnight.

"Widespread flooding of vulnerable shore roads and/or basements due to storm tide and wave action," the weather service said. "Road closures may be needed."

A flood watch has also been posted for eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey, including Philadelphia and Trenton, where as much as two inches of rain may fall, flooding roads and sending streams out of their banks.

Best said the track of the storm will spare the large East Coast cities from Philadelphia to Boston any significant snowfall.

"If it was farther south and east, the big cities would get walloped by snow," Best said. "The farther west and north of the track you go, that is where there will be double-digit snowfall amounts."

Syracuse, N.Y., may receive as much as 13 inches of snow by Thursday and Erie, Penn., may get 17 inches, according to the weather service.

The storm will also bring snow to Canada, where Toronto is forecast to receive about 4 inches and parts of southern Ontario as much as 6 inches, according to Environment Canada.

 

— With assistance from Jim Polson in New York.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
videoJapanese prepare for the afterlife by testing out coffins
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...

Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solicitor

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Supervisor / Housewares / Furniture

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital