A freak spring storm has slammed into the American Midwest, bringing down power lines, trees and more.
Three tornadoes whipped across S. Louis, Missouri Wednesday night with heavy rain, local flooding and wind gusts of over 100 miles per hour. The suburb of Hazelwood appeared to be one of the hardest-hit.
Thousands of families across the state lost power, and extensive damage forced the governor to declare a state of emergency.
Blizzard conditions with ice and gale-force winds also knocked out power in Minnesota, prompting that state’s Governor Mark Dayton to call out the National Guard.
The National Weather Service predicted that in the southwestern part of the state, residents might see up to 8 to 14 inches of snow by Thursday morning.
In Arkansas, dangerous winds were the biggest threat, with a twister having touched down in the north-central part of the state, according to warning coordination meteorologist John Robinson at the National Weather Service center in North Little Rock. Four people were injured when the tornado hit near Botkinburg.
In eastern South Dakota, residents were somewhat prepared, having already been hit by an earlier storm that had closed schools and businesses and knocked power lines out.
Tens of thousands of families were still without electricity as they waited with grim resignation for 'Spring Storm, The Sequel' to hit. A forecast by the National Weather Service predicted the skies could drop between 6 to 12 inches of snow on the state, with wind gusts of up to 25 miles per hour.
The bad weather was expected to tail off into southeastern North Dakota with a lighter fall of some 3 to 5 inches of snow by late in the day on Thursday, along with flooding.
Likewise some flooding was expected in Wisconsin, the result of slush dropping from the sky in the form of rain, ice and snow on Wednesday in various locations. Freezing rain was expected in the central part of the state early Thursday.