Deadly severe weather roars across several states, creating potential tornadoes

Thousands of homes and businesses were without power Tuesday as severe weather roared through several states, causing at least one death and spawning potential tornadoes.

Parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Georgia remained under a tornado watch through Tuesday night, while Wisconsin was experiencing a spring snowstorm.

Storms unleashed three suspected tornadoes and heavy rains in northeastern Oklahoma that were blamed for the death of a 46-year-old homeless woman who had taken refuge inside a drain pipe in Tulsa.

Andy Little, a spokesman for the Tulsa Fire Department, said the woman's boyfriend told authorities that the two went to sleep at the entrance to the drain and were awakened by floodwaters. About 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain fell in Tulsa in about an hour, National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Darby said.

“It wasn't a whole lot. But when it came down, it was pretty fast,” Darby said.

In West Virginia, about 140,000 customers were without power Tuesday afternoon, or about 14% of all monitored customers in the state. power cut. us. A storm tore off part of the roof of a vacant building in Charleston, strewing bricks across the street and closing the road to traffic. Trees were uprooted and lay on roads, lawns and sometimes on top of cars.

Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for several counties and urged people to “exercise extreme caution.”

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In Ohio, firefighters rescued two people who were trapped under a bridge in a flooded river Tuesday morning. While the two were sleeping, the Scioto River swelled and prevented them from returning to shore, according to the Columbus Fire Department. A fire department boat was dispatched to rescue them. No injuries were reported.

Mindy Broughton rushed inside her mobile home Tuesday morning as hail started to fall and the wind blew at the RV park where she lives near Hanging Rock, Ohio.

Broughton and her fiance huddled underneath as the mobile home began to sway rapidly. Broughton said his fiancee used her body as a shield because it was windy outside.

“I think we're going to die today,” she said.

Within seconds the wind blew. When Broughton opened the door to his mobile home, he found the RV park littered with overturned RVs. Fortunately, Broughton said no one was inside the overturned mobile homes.

A section of Interstate 75 northeast of Cincinnati was blocked for about half a dozen Tuesday afternoon. Power poles were toppled by strong winds near Wetherington, WLWT-TV reported.

In Wisconsin, forecasters warned of more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow in eastern parts of the state, including the Green Bay area. The state's top elections official, Meagan Wolff, urged residents planning to vote in Tuesday's presidential election to consider voting earlier in the day to avoid travel difficulties.

Snow totals could range from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) in central Wisconsin and 8 to 14 inches (20 to 35 centimeters) in eastern Wisconsin, while wind gusts of 30 mph to 50 mph (48 kph) were possible, the National Weather Service said. 80 kmph) creating very low visibility and making travel difficult.

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“Three weeks ago, we were in the 70s. So, people think spring is almost here — here we are in April and we're getting a big snowstorm,” said Scott Cultis, a meteorologist with the Weather Service's Green Bay office. “As people say, 'It's Springtime in Wisconsin'.”

More than 70,000 homes and businesses lost power in Wisconsin Tuesday night. power cut. us.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency after severe storms hit the state Tuesday morning.

“We have reports of significant damage to several structures — and fortunately, we are not aware of any casualties at this time,” Beshear said in a statement.

Another round of storms Tuesday afternoon led to multiple tornado warnings for Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.

One person was injured and taken to the hospital after a tree fell on a home in Lexington, Kentucky. Mayor Linda Gordon told WLEX-TV. Homes were damaged and a tree crushed a University of Kentucky student's car.

“I look out of my blinds and I see the wind roaring,” Reese Sherrard told the news agency. “I see a big tree fall on top of my car. No trees fell on our house, so it looks like we were lucky.

In Louisville on Tuesday night, Mayor Craig Greenberg reported “extensive” storm damage in the nearby city of Prospect and throughout the county, but said no injuries were reported. He said fire crews were checking people street by street in the worst-hit areas and declared a district-wide state of emergency.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado in northeast Tennessee on Tuesday. Morgan County 911 director Matthew Brown said a funeral home and a house were damaged in Sunbright, a town of about 500 people. Power poles and trees were down and some roads were closed, he said.

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The Memphis, Tennessee-based utility said about 40,000 homes and businesses were temporarily without power after lightning struck an electrical substation Tuesday morning that later affected two other substations.

Storms swept across southwest Indiana Tuesday morning, downing trees and causing power outages, leading several local school districts to cancel classes. More than 18,000 homes and businesses were without power at noon Tuesday, including in Vanderburgh County, home to Indiana's third-largest city, Evansville.

Severe weather is expected to move into New England Wednesday night into Thursday, with 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 centimeters) of snow in parts of New Hampshire and Maine and less snow in other areas, the National Weather Service said. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph) are possible in some areas, causing power outages.

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Associated Press writers Ken Miller in Oklahoma City, Rick Callahan in Indianapolis, Leah Willingham in Charleston, West Virginia, John Roby in Cross Lanes, West Virginia, Adrian Sines in Memphis, Tennessee, Beatrice Dubuis in Louisland, New York, Rebecca Rebecca in Bellingham, Washington, and Cha Baman contributed to this report.

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