2 children dead, many homes damaged as storms pummel South •A vehicle drives through a flooded section of Muskingum Avenue on Saturday, April,13, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. (Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP)DALLAS (AP) — Powerful storms that rolled across the South on Saturday spawned at least two suspected tornadoes, damaged homes and killed two children in Texas, authorities said.The Angelina County Sheriff’s Office said an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old died when strong winds toppled a tree onto the back of their family’s car in Lufkin while it was in motion. Capt. Alton Lenderman said the parents, who were in the front seats, were not injured.Lufkin is about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northeast of Houston. Additional information was not immediately available.In Central Texas, Robertson County Sheriff Gerald Yezak told The Associated Press a tornado hit the small city of Franklin, overturning mobile homes and damaging other residences. Franklin is located about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Dallas.The National Weather Service said preliminary information showed an EF-3 tornado touched down with winds of 140 mph (225.3 kph). Crews will continue to survey the damage over the next few days.Two people were hospitalized for injuries not thought to be life-threatening, while others were treated at the scene for minor injuries, Yezak said. Some people had to be extricated from their homes.Weather service meteorologist Monique Sellers said they’ve received reports of downed trees, as well as damage to buildings and a transmission tower.The storms are part of a large system moving through the southern United States, knocking out power to thousands and causing some flash flooding. The weather service said the system is expected to shift to the Ohio Valley and the Southeast on Sunday.Meteorologist John Moore said a possible twister touched down Saturday in the Vicksburg, Mississippi, area. No injuries have been reported, but officials said several businesses and vehicles were damaged.Winds of up to 60 mph (96.56 kph) were reported in Cherokee County, Texas, damaging two homes in Alto but not injuring anyone. Alto is situated about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Houston.
DALLAS (AP) — The Latest on a powerful storm system moving through the southern United States (all times local):
Officials say there’s some debris from a possible tornado but no injuries or building damage at Mississippi State University.
The 21,000-student university ordered students into basements late Saturday night as a tornado approached the campus in Starkville.
Residents report trees down and at least some minor structural damage to residential areas nearby, including some areas where students live off campus.
Mississippi State spokesman Sid Salter says university officials are still looking for damage, especially in outlying areas of campus. The debris on the campus may have been dropped by a tornado that had been confirmed on the ground southwest of the campus.
Heavy rains were also producing flash flooding in the area.
Starkville was full of visitors Saturday because Mississippi State held its spring football game and a baseball game.
Authorities say a possible tornado has touched down in western Mississippi, causing damage to several businesses and vehicles.
John Moore, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Jackson, says a twister was reported Saturday in the Vicksburg area of Mississippi and was indicated on radar. No injuries were reported.
News footage from the area showed shattered windows and rooftop debris from businesses, flooding in parking lots and cars with windows smashed out.
Moore tells The Associated Press by phone that meteorologists haven’t yet confirmed it was a tornado. Severe storms crossing a big swath of the South, including parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, have knocked out power to thousands and caused some flash flooding. Damage also has been reported near Satartia, Mississippi, from the storms.
Authorities in East Texas say two children were killed after a tree fell on a car as it was being driven during a strong storm.
The Angelina County Sheriff’s Office says an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old died Saturday when the tree toppled onto the back of their family’s car in Lufkin while it was in motion. Capt. Alton Lenderman says the parents, who were in the front seats, were not injured.
Additional details were not immediately available. In nearby Cherokee County, winds of up to 60 mph damaged two homes in the town of Alto, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Houston.
Authorities say about a dozen people in Texas have been injured in powerful storms that have spawned at least one suspected tornado and damaged homes and other property.
Robertson County Texas Sheriff Gerald Yezak (YEZ’-ik) told The Associated Press that a suspected tornado hit Franklin on Saturday, overturning mobile homes and damaging other residences. Franklin is a small city about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Dallas,
He says two people were taken to a hospital with injuries that aren’t thought to be life-threatening and that about a dozen others were treated at the scene for minor injuries, including people who had to be extricated from their homes.
Yezak says two of the people injured Saturday when a likely tornado touched down near the cities of Hearne and Franklin were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
National Weather Service meteorologist Monique (moh-NEEK’) Sellers says the agency received reports of downed trees, and damage to buildings and a transmission tower.
The storms are part of a large system moving through the southern U.S.
A large storm system that dumped snow on Colorado and is threatening to make it a soggy weekend for many states to the south and east has drenched parts of Texas and spawned a possible tornado that didn’t hurt anyone.
The National Weather Service says thunderstorms are expected Saturday from Texas to Alabama. The system shifts to the Ohio Valley and the Southeast on Sunday.
A tornado watch is in effect for East Texas through 7 p.m. Saturday. Winds of up to 60 mph (97 kph) were reported Saturday in Cherokee County, damaging two homes in Alto (AL’-toh) but not injuring anyone. Alto is about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Houston.
Forecasters in central Texas reported a possible twister Saturday in Robertson County, near Hearne and Franklin. Nobody was injured.
Meanwhile, the Dallas area has received more than 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain.
MOUNT WASHINGTON, N.H. (AP) — Authorities warned of increasing avalanche danger Friday a day after a skier died on the Northeast’s highest mountain.
Thursday’s was one of at least four human-triggered avalanches on the mountain that day, and more were possible as slabs of snow formed by wind warmed up and weakened, according to the Mount Washington Avalanche Center’s daily forecast.
„Moderate avalanche danger exists today with a warm and wetting snowpack,” the center wrote. „If you find yourself sinking into mushy, wet snow, it is time to get off the slope.”
The victim, whose name has not been released, was skiing by himself Thursday afternoon in an area called Raymond Cataract near Tuckerman Ravine. The avalanche was reported at 1:30 p.m., and the man was dug out about an hour later, buried under 5 feet (1.5 meters) of snow, said Evan Burks, a spokesman for the White Mountain National Forest. Rescuers performed CPR, but the man was pronounced dead several hours later.
Burks said the skier’s death highlighted the importance of traveling in groups, being prepared for changing conditions and paying attention to the forecasts.
Longtime climbing guide Rick Wilcox agreed.
„So many people use Mount Washington, and so many people don’t have much information about the snow conditions,” said Wilcox, past president of the volunteer Mountain Rescue Service.
At 6,288 feet (1,916 meters) tall, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast and is notorious for its bad weather. Friday marked the 85th anniversary of a record wind speed there in 1934. The 231-mph gust remains on the record books as the highest wind speed ever observed by man, though in 1996, an unmanned instrument station in Barrow Island, Australia, recorded a gust of 253 mph.
In February, a Massachusetts man died in what the avalanche center called a „long sliding fall,” the most common cause of death in New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. Jeremy Ullman, a 37-year-old neuroscientist at Boston Children’s Hospital, died after slipping and falling more than 300 feet (91 meters) into a boulder-strewn area.
Last month, Forest Service snow rangers helped search for a missing 21-year-old Massachusetts man who may have been seen on Mount Washington on March 8. His vehicle was located at a trailhead parking lot March 16.
The heavy snow and blizzard conditions that slammed the Upper Midwest will ease Friday and move into Canada, but that offered little consolation to thousands still without electricity or digging out from as much as two feet of snow.
More than 75,000 customers were without power at one point from Colorado to Michigan, with some 14,000 still without electricity Friday morning in Minnesota, according to poweroutageus.com.
In South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem ordered government offices in all 54 counties closed as the storm hit the state Thursday. Even Ellsworth Air Force Base, just north of Rapid City, was shut down for all but essential personnel.
On Friday morning, the National Weather Service said the worst of the storm was over, but gusty winds and falling snow remained a concern, creating blizzard conditions in portions of the Dakotas and western Minnesota.
„Additional snowfall after sunrise (Friday) will be greatest across northeastern Minnesota where an additional 2-4 inches is expected,” the weather service said.
At one point at the height of the storm, Pueblo West, Colorado, recorded a wind gust of 107 mph, according to AccuWeather. The greatest snow total from the storm was the 25 inches that fell near Norbeck, South Dakota, the Weather Prediction Center reported.
Minnesota appeared to be the hardest hit by the spring blizzard, prompting Gov. Tim Walz to activate the National Guard to help with stranded motorists and flooding.
Over one nine-hour-period, the Minnesota State patrol registered 167 crashes statewide, even as state officials advised motorists to stay off the highways.
Wind: 1. Trooper: 0.
A trooper directing traffic around a jackknifed semi this morning on Highway 86 & Interstate 90 in Jackson County was knocked to the ground by a wind gust.
The trooper was not injured but the video is a reminder of theconditions caused by this snowstorm.
According to FlightAware.com, Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport and Denver International Airport combined had 1,530 flight cancellations over a two-day period, with Minneapolis accounting for the bulk of them.
Even the baseball season home opener between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers Friday night in the Twin Cities was postponed.
In one odd twist, some Minnesota residents reported a tan, or orange tint to the snow, which the National Weather Service said was most likely due to dust blown in by high winds from West Texas.
At least two weather-related fatalities were registered in the hardest hit areas, one involving a collision between a snow plow and a pickup truck near Denver International Airport, KUSA-TV reported, and a head-on crash in Pine County in Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Blizzard in Upper Midwest leaves thousands without power; fights canceled
Maputo (AFP) – Cyclone Idai which cut a deadly swathe through Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe last month, is expected to cost the three countries more than $2 billion (1.77 billion euros), the World Bank said.
„(E)arly estimates point to over US$2.0 billion in recovery costs for the infrastructure and livelihood impacts,” it said in a statement issued after a meeting in Washington on Thursday.
„To date, about three million people have been affected, with near total damage in the worst affected areas,” it said.
Idai slammed into the Mozambican port city of Beira on March 14 then continued a deadly path westward towards Zimbabwe.
In Mozambique alone, more than 600 people died among the 1.5 million affected. About 344 have been killed in Zimbabwe. Southern Malawi was also drowned in heavy rainfall in an earlier phase of the storm, killing 59.
The lender said the cyclone had damaged the infrastructure corridor connecting the Mozambican port of Beira with Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe,”disrupting regional trade and supplies of fuel, wheat and other goods.”
The UN has appealed for donations of $282 million (251 million euros) to fund emergency assistance for the next three months.
The World Bank called for „global collaboration” as recovery and reconstruction gets underway for poor and vulnerable populations „in the face of climate and disaster risk.”