A deadly storm system that destroyed homes in the South threatened more tornadoes, freezing rain, dangerous travel and power outages Wednesday.
At least two people were killed in Louisiana on Tuesday as the system’s bad winds swept through communities from Oklahoma to Texas to Mississippi. Another woman was killed in a tornado in Kerona, St. Louis on Wednesday. Eight other people were injured, Charles Parish officials said. A tornado also hit New Orleans Wednesday afternoon and caused damage, but the extent was not yet known.
Now, more than 50 million people on the cold side of the massive, multi-faceted storm were under winter weather or storm warnings on Wednesday, from Utah, Idaho and Montana all the way to New England. About 424,000 people were under blizzard warnings in at least four states as of Thursday morning.
Here’s what to expect in different parts of the country:
• Along the Gulf Coast, strong tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail could affect cities including Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Wednesday; Biloxi and Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and as far east as Mobile, Alabama. The U.S. Storm Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch until 8 p.m. ET, saying it is an “extremely dangerous situation.” The name is used when the worst threats are expected, including powerful long tornadoes.
• In the northern plains, widespread snowstorm conditions will continue Wednesday, with occasional power outages. With winds of up to 55 mph, blowing snow can make travel dangerous.
The 700-mile stretch of Interstate 80 from Wyoming to Nebraska has been closed, making road travel nearly impossible there. Other major interstates — including I-90 and I-94 — could also be down.
• In the Midwest and Northern Plains, 8 to 12 inches of snow could fall between Wednesday and Thursday. Cities in northeastern Minnesota could be buried under 2 feet of snow.
• Central Appalachian Mountains – Including parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania and the Maryland Panhandle – a tenth to a quarter of an inch of freezing rain is possible Wednesday through Thursday night. An ice storm warning was in place for the region through Thursday night due to the large ice buildup.
• Parts of Pennsylvania A possible double whammy: Freezing rain and Snow on Thursday and Friday.
• Inland parts of New York and New England A new storm spawned by the system is expected to develop into a northeasterly wind this weekend. It will move across the mid-Atlantic on Thursday, spreading a combination of rain, ice and snow.
• Major cities along the northeast coast With 1 to 2 inches of heavy rain forecast from the northeast through the weekend, “some light but impactful freezing rain, sleet and snow are likely to mix during Thursday morning commutes along the I-95 corridor,” Weather Central said. warn.
A blizzard warning was in effect for parts of Nebraska, where several roads were closed — including all roads from Nebraska to Colorado, the state Department of Transportation said.
The “once-in-five-year storm” that began Tuesday is expected to continue through the weekend, National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Taylor said.
Residents will endure near-zero visibility, hazardous travel conditions and possible power outages.
Blizzard warnings were also issued for parts of Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming.