The southern United States faced heavy thunderstorms and tornadoes while parts of the North braced for snow and ice storms

By Helen Murphy
January 11, 2020 05:30 PM
Bill Davis/AP/Shutterstock

At least nine people have died as severe storms sweep across multiple parts of the country.

The southern part of the United States faced thunderstorms and tornadoes on Saturday, and parts of the Midwest and Northeast are bracing for snow and ice storms throughout the weekend as the storms sweep up from the South, according to CNN.

On Saturday morning, the National Weather Service tweeted that “heavy rain and flooding” was possible throughout the day, and later posted an update that “severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, remain possible through tonight over portions of the South and northward into parts of the Ohio Valley and Mid Atlantic.”

The Associated Press reported that the severe weather has led to the deaths of at least nine people since Friday night.

The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana announced on Facebook Saturday morning that the bodies of an elderly couple were found near their demolished home. The storm had “moved their home from its foundation to some 200 feet away,” authorities said.

Elsewhere in Louisiana, a man was killed when a tree fell on his home, according to CNN. He was identified by the AP as 75-year-old Raymond Holden.

And in Alabama, three people were confirmed dead in Pickens County, according to WBMA. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency said the deaths were caused by an “embedded tornado within a long line of intense thunderstorms,” according to the AP.

Two first responders in Lubbock, Texas, were also killed on Saturday while responding to a crash on an icy highway, the city’s police department announced. They were identified as 27-year-old Officer Nicholas Reyna and 39-year-old Lieutenant/Paramedic Eric Hill.

Bill Davis/AP/Shutterstock

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“When road conditions get this bad, we need to make sure that people understand that they need to slow down. They need to understand the road conditions are dangerous and we have people out there trying to protect them. Speed and road conditions are always a factor,” Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell said in a press conference.

According to the AP, a third person died in Texas on Friday night after their car flipped into a creek in Dallas.

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The severe weather has also caused damage to many homes in the South, as well as highway closures and widespread power outages, the AP reported, which noted that tens of thousands of customers were left without power on Saturday.

In the North and Midwest, snow, sleet and freezing rain were expected on Saturday, CNN reported, and more than 900 flights into or out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport were reportedly canceled on Saturday.