Severe weather and tornadoes battered many parts of the United States on Christmas Day, leaving behind damaged buildings, power outages, and at least two deaths.
Accuweather.com meteorologists reported that from Alabama to Texas, a total of 34 tornadoes swept through the southern part of the country. The tornadoes were responsible for one man’s death in Texas.
Tuesday’s severe storms also contributed to a 21-vehicle pileup that shut down Interstate 40 in downtown Oklahoma City and caused power outages for tens of thousands of residents, reported Reuters.
After tornadoes struck down in Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.) declared a state of emergency. He urged residents to plan for severe weather.
“It only takes a few minutes, and it will help everyone have a safe Christmas,” Bryant said.
According to Reuters, the severe winter weather that hit parts of central and the Southern United States on Christmas Day is moving eastward Wednesday, with forecasters predicting heavy snow in the Ohio Valley and possible tornadoes in the coastal Carolinas.
More than 70,000 people were without power in eastern Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, reported CBS News, while the national weather service has issued blizzard and winter storm warnings in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Western Kentucky, predicting 4 to 7 inches of snow.
A 28-year-old woman from Woodward, Okla., was killed in an accident on a snow-covered two-lane highway, according to Woodward News.
Accuweather.com reported that more snow fell on Christmas in Little Rock, Ark., than the city has seen since 1926.
The most lethal Christmas Day storms were those of Dec. 24–26, 1982, when 29 tornadoes in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi killed three people and injured 32, according to CBS. The Christmas Day storms of Dec. 24–25, 1964, killed two people and injured about 30 people with 14 tornadoes in 7 states.
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