Heavy rains and high winds have swept across much of the southern United States, causing several deaths and major power outages. More than a thousand flights have been canceled.
At least 11 people died and travel was thrown into chaos as winter storms wreaked havoc across much of the southern United States and Midwest, bringing high winds and unrelenting rain.
The colossal storms, with winds of more than 200 kph (125 mph), also brought snow, with 2 to 5 inches (5-13 cm) falling overnight into Saturday. The bad weather stretched from Texas through the southeast and up to the Great Lakes into Maine, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
The NWS in Birmingham, Alabama, tweeted that three people had been killed near Carrollton in Pickens County.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency said that an "embedded tornado within a long line of intense thunderstorms" was responsible for the deaths.
Loss of life
Earlier Saturday, firefighters found the corpses of an elderly couple near their destroyed trailer in Louisiana, the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office said via Facebook. The winds were so strong that the home was displaced 200 feet (61 meters) from its original location.
Another fatality occurred after a 75-year-old man was crushed when a tree fell on his home, according to the Caddo Parish Coroner's Office.
Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington explained to The Associated Press news agency how a truck driver had a near miss before being rescued. Whittington said: "A power line was hanging across the road and an 18-wheeler truck ran into it and got hung up in it and the Benton officer got there to help him."
In Lubbock, Texas, two first responders were killed and another critically injured when they were hit by a vehicle on Saturday morning while at the scene of a traffic accident.
In Oklahoma, a man drowned in floodwaters while trying to get out of his truck, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Saturday.
One person died late on Friday when a car flipped into a creek in the city of Dallas, Texas. Furthermore, lightning from Friday's stormy weather was believed to be responsible for two house fires in the northern Texas cities of Burleson and Mansfield. Officials said no one was hurt, however.
By early Saturday, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas were over the worst of the stormy weather, after the blizzards passed through the night before.
Destruction in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas
Homes were damaged or demolished in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas on Friday, but no injuries from the incidents were reported. Felled trees and power lines were commonplace.
Mississippi had more than 61,000 power outages by lunchtime on Saturday and roughly 35,000 customers were without power in Louisiana. In Tennessee, Memphis Light, Gas and Water said approximately 23,000 customers were without power come Saturday morning.
cw,jsi/dr (Reuters, AP)