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At least 12 dead as dangerous weather targets more than 30 million Americans

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Tornadoes hit the South, snow pummels Midwest

Dangerous weather is targeting more than 30 million Americans this weekend. A fast-moving storm sweeping across parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Southeast has already been blamed for at least 12 deaths throughout the South and Midwest. 

Tornadoes have been reported in at least three states.

The storm system has produced heavy rain and wind across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas. In Iowa, snow plows are out for the area's first major winter storm of the season. The snowfall is heavy, having already caused several traffic accidents. More than 1,000 flights have also been canceled. 

 

Death toll raised to 12

One person was killed in Cedar County, Iowa, on Saturday. A passenger in a semitrailer was killed after the driver lost control of the vehicle on an icy road. The truck was found flipped over on its side in a ditch, according to Iowa State Patrol. 

By Jordan Freiman
 

More than 180,000 lose power in Alabama

Alabama Power, an electric company that serves roughly 1.4 million customers in Alabama, said that over 180,000 had lost power as a result of the deadly storm. As of 8 p.m., power had been restored to 116,000, leaving another 60,000 still in the dark, according to the power company

By Jordan Freiman
 

Death toll up to 11

A man in Kiowa, Oklahoma, died Saturday after being swept away by floodwaters caused by the storms, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The number of deaths attributed to the severe storms sweeping across the United States now stands at 11

By Jordan Freiman
 

More than 1,100 flights canceled in Chicago

More than 1,100 flights were canceled Saturday at Chicago's Midway and O'Hare airports, CBS Chicago reports.

The overwhelming majority of the cancellations were at O'Hare International airport. As of 5 p.m., 1,144 flights had been cancelled and the average delay time for a flight was 21 minutes. Meanwhile, there were 88 cancellations at Midway.

"At this point, I can't get out. I can't get home today or quite possibly tomorrow morning," Terry Bauman of Kansas City told CBS Chicago's Vi Nguyen. "I flew to St. Louis yesterday to visit my mother for a few hours, tried to fly back to Kansas City yesterday. We got 70 miles outside of Kansas City, and our flight had to turn around and come back."

By Jordan Freiman
 

Death toll rises to 10

At least 10 people have died in a severe winter storm that's making its way across the U.S.

Larry Hadnot, Jr., 44, was killed on Saturday in Nacogdoches County, Texas, after severe winds brought a tree down on top of a house, the county's office of emergency management said. Another person was in the house but escaped with minor injuries. A tree also fell on a home in Oil City, Louisiana, killing one person, according to the Oil City Police Department.

One person died in Dallas, Texas, on Friday night after their car flipped over and landed upside-down in a creek. Severe thunderstorms were passing through the area at the time, causing flash floods and leading to dangerous driving conditions.

In Lubbock, Texas, a police officer, 27-year-old Nicholas Reyna, and a firefighter, 39-year-old Eric Hill, were killed while working to clear an earlier traffic accident on Interstate 27.

Two more people were killed in Haughton, Louisiana, on Saturday. A tornado passed over the mobile home of Jerry W. Franks, 79, and Mary Sue Franks, 65, at around 2 a.m. The home was destroyed and pushed some 200 feet away from its foundations, according to the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office.

By Jordan Freiman
 

3 people dead in tornado in Carrollton, Alabama

Three people died in a tornado in Carrollton, Alabama, the National Weather Service in Birmingham said. A line of severe storms are working through Western Alabama, CBS Birmingham affiliate WIAT-TV reported.

Tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect across the Fayette and Walker County areas along with Tuscaloosa and Jefferson County.

By Caroline Linton
 

More than 250,000 without power in 13 states

An estimated 253,882 are without power in 13 states from Texas to Michigan, according to numbers submitted to poweroutages.us. Mississippi had the greatest amount of outages, with 60,512 without power. 

Here is a breakdown by state:

  • Texas: 22,544
  • Louisiana: 48,482
  • Arkansas: 30,495
  • Tennessee: 30,305
  • Kentucky: 22,424
  • Illinois: 12,573
  • Michigan: 11,342
  • Mississippi: 60,512
  • Oklahoma: 312
  • Missouri: 3,434
  • Alabama: 6,360
  • North Carolina: 1,665
  • Missouri: 3,434
By Caroline Linton
 

Forecast map shows rain, thunderstorms and possibility of freezing rain

map.png
National Forecast Chart on Saturday morning. National Weather Service
 

Parts of Texas will continue to be pelted with rain and snow

The National Weather Service said parts of Texas will continue to be pelted with rain and snow Saturday.

Residents in parts of North Texas woke up to a wintry surprise as some were seeing their first snow in the area in awhile, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth reported. Denton and Collin counties saw some snow accumulation. A Winter Weather Advisory was issued early in the morning for those two counties, as well as Parker and Wise counties.

In Denton, snow could be seen along I-35, as well as icy conditions. The conditions have led to multiple reports of crashes along the freeway. Snow could also be seen falling in cities like Frisco.

The storms had already unleashed downpours that caused widespread flash flooding.

— The Associated Press contributed to this post.

 

Tornadoes reported in at least 3 states

A tornado destroyed two homes near Fair Play, Missouri, on Friday afternoon, while another tornado stripped the shingles from the roof of a home near Tahlequah, Oklahoma, about 60 miles southeast of Tulsa. No injuries were reported in either place.

Later on Friday, what the National Weather Service described as "a confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado" roared through parts of Logan County, Arkansas.

At least three homes were destroyed by the Arkansas tornado, said Logan County Emergency Management Coordinator Tobi Miller, but no injuries were reported. Downed trees and power lines were widespread, she said.

Miller said the tornado skirted her home in Subiaco, Arkansas. She said she heard but couldn't see the rain-wrapped twister in the dark.

— The Associated Press 

 

"A potent storm system will bring a variety of hazards"

The National Weather Service said early Saturday a "significant" storm will impact the eastern half of the United States over the next two days.

"A potent storm system will bring a variety of hazards and some record high temperatures to the eastern half of the U.S. this weekend," it said. "Parts of the Plains, Midwest, and northern New England will experience heavy snow and ice, while heavy rain and flooding are expected just south of the wintry precipitation."

"Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible over portions of the Gulf Coast & Southeast," it added.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

People in east Texas get a look at the damage

People in east Texas were getting a look at the damage early Saturday morning from overnight storms that packed a punch, CBS News' Omar Villfranca reported from Kilgore, Texas, which was hit by heavy winds. "We're surrounded by sheet metal and a bunch of insulation," Villfranca said.

The national Storm Prediction Center said Friday more than 18 million people in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma were at an enhanced risk of storms Friday, including from strong tornadoes, flooding rains and wind gusts that could exceed 80 mph -  the speed of a Category 1 hurricane. The area included several major Texas cities including Dallas, Houston and Austin.

Such strong winds were a key concern in an area at greatest risk: A zone that includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, the Storm Prediction Center warned. Weather service meteorologists in northern Louisiana said that such a dire forecast for the area is only issued two to four times each year, on average.

— CBS/AP

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