Severe storms across the US deliver tornadoes, snow and flooding

Severe storms across the US deliver tornadoes, snow and flooding By Fathimath Nasli - January 10, 2024
Severe storms across the US deliver tornadoes snow and flooding

Winter storm triggers tornadoes, flooding, power outages across Southeast

A series of powerful winter storms has caused significant havoc in parts of the eastern US and Canada, resulting in at least three fatalities and leaving over half a million homes without power. 

The storms, featuring tornadoes, snowfall, and flooding, led to the cancellation of over 1,300 flights, including a diversion of Vice-president Kamala Harris' plane due to adverse weather conditions. 

Numerous counties in Florida declared a state of emergency as tornadoes wreaked havoc, causing damage to homes and power lines.

Fatalities were reported in Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia, with an 81-year-old woman killed in Alabama after a tornado destroyed homes and RVs. Severe weather conditions also led to a motorist's death in Georgia when a tree fell across a highway. The storms caused widespread damage in Panama City, Florida, with road closures, building damage, and hail the size of baseballs. 

A curfew was imposed in the downtown area, urging residents to stay indoors.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued warnings of more powerful storms in the region and across the eastern US, with the potential for strong tornadoes, damaging winds, and hail. 

Heavy rain in various parts of the eastern US raised concerns about flooding. In South Carolina, significant rainfall led to flooding, while over a foot of snow stranded motorists and disrupted presidential campaigning in Iowa.

Canada also experienced winter storm warnings, with heavy snow forecasted for southern Ontario and central Quebec. The Pacific Northwest faced a rare blizzard, causing power outages and transportation disruptions. 

Coastal flood advisories were in effect in New Jersey, and Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency. New York State's Governor Kathy Hochul warned of potential life-threatening conditions due to a combination of expected rainfall and existing snow cover.

Severe weather led to evacuations in Brooklyn, where around 2,000 migrants from a tent shelter were relocated to high school gymnasiums.

Airports in Chicago and Tampa faced disruptions, with O'Hare International Airport briefly issuing a ground stop. Travel difficulties were also reported in states like Nebraska and Kansas, prompting authorities to urge residents to stay home. The NWS anticipated a slight easing of extreme weather conditions by Wednesday, although some areas may still experience snow showers.

Source: BBC

By Fathimath Nasli - January 10, 2024

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