USA – 11 Dead as Winter Storms Hit South and Midwest

At least 11 people have died as a result of severe weather in the USA over the last few days, after a series of storms from 10 to 12 January brought strong winds, heavy rain and tornadoes to parts of the south and Midwest.

Strong wind, icy roads and tornadoes caused at least 11 deaths. Storm-related fatalities were reported in Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and Iowa. One person died in flooding in Oklahoma.

Thousands of people were without power, as the storms toppled power lines and trees, ripped off roofs and left roads blocked. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency after severe storm damage in the state.

Flash flooding was reported in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said portions of several highways in the southeastern part of the state were closed due to flooding. One person died after he was swept away by flood waters near Kiowa.

In Wisconsin, strong winds and high waves on Lake Michigan caused damaging floods in Port Milwaukee. According to Associated Press, waves reached 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) high and wind gusts of up to 50 mph / 80 kmh were recorded.

National Weather Service has forecast further severe weather, saying “a pair of storm systems moving inland from the Pacific Ocean will keep unsettled weather in place across the Northwest this week. Heavy mountain snow, heavy low elevation rain and strong winds are all forecast. A front over the Southeast U.S. will be the focus for numerous clusters of showers and thunderstorms which will be capable of producing heavy rainfall and some concerns for flash flooding”