Deadly storm threatens millions across the mid-Atlantic – NBCNews.com
A deadly storm that pummeled the southern United States over the weekend was threatening millions of people across the mid-Atlantic on Sunday night with severe thunderstorms, powerful winds and possible tornadoes, the National Weather Service said.
The same storm caused havoc at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, where a blast of wintry weather dumped nearly half a foot of snow on Sunday, according to NBC Chicago.
More than 1,000 flights into or out of the airport had been delayed or canceled, the station reported.
The weather service issued tornado warnings and watches on Sunday night for parts of Washington, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
Severe thunderstorm warnings were also in effect across the region.
The storm killed at least six people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, where officials estimated a tornado with 140 mph winds struck Robertson County, northwest of Houston.
Justin Roark, of Franklin, Texas, said he watched the twister blow his parked 18-wheeler onto its side.
“I saw a side of a building and a tree fly up in the air and start spinning around,” he told NBC affiliate KPRC.
The tornado destroyed 55 homes, a church, four businesses, a duplex and part of the local housing authority building, the Associated Press reported.
A woman was also killed by weather-related debris near Nacogdoches.
In Louisiana, a 13-year-old boy drowned in a drainage area and a person was found dead inside a vehicle submerged in floodwaters, authorities said.
In Mississippi, a 95-year-old died in Monroe County after a tree crushed his mobile home, NBC affiliate WLBT reported.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant told reporters Sunday that he had a declared of state of emergency after the storm damaged dozens of roads and left roughly 26,000 people without power across 17 counties.
Still, Bryant said the storm’s “very violent” conditions could’ve been far more deadly.
“At midnight last night, I would’ve thought we would’ve had much more information to give you of a disastrous nature,” he said. “Even though we have a loss of life because of the storm, it could’ve been much worse.”