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2 dead from storm that has caused blizzard conditions in Midwest and heavy rain in South

Two people died on Thursday as a result of a severe storm system that caused blizzard conditions in the US M...

Posted: Dec 28, 2018 1:32 PM
Updated: Dec 28, 2018 1:32 PM

Two people died on Thursday as a result of a severe storm system that caused blizzard conditions in the US Midwest and torrential rain and flood threats in the South.

A 58-year-old woman in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, died after a tree fell on her camper trailer Wednesday night, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards tells CNN affiliate WDSU.

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Eleven inches of rain has fallen in areas of Washington Parish, Louisiana, and Walthall County, Mississippi, according to the National Weather Service office in Slidell, Louisiana.

NWS Meteorologist Bob Wagner told CNN the weather system stalled in this one small area for the last five or six hours.

"There's still rain sitting on the Louisiana Coast that could keep streaming on them for the next 3 to 6 hours," Wagner said. He said he's heard reports of some water rescues, but luckily the area is sparsely populated.

In addition, whiteout conditions in parts of the Midwest have caused several road closures and general travel issues.

Kansas State Highway Patrol reported a weather-related death on Interstate 70 near Oakley. The crash involved a commercial vehicle and a passenger car, Trooper Tod Hileman said.

All this spells more nightmares for holiday travelers heading into New Year's weekend.

"This storm system was always comprised of two threats -- one for blizzard conditions and another for severe weather," CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said.

Here's what's happening in different parts of the country:

'Our town has come to a complete standstill' in the Midwest

About 1 million people are under blizzard warnings Thursday in parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas, CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett said.

"Snow with high winds and low visibility will make travel in this area dangerous if not impossible at times," Garrett said.

The storm system is expected to dump 6 to 12 inches of snow in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas, Norman said.

In Kansas, blizzard conditions closed a 75-mile stretch on Interstate 70 from Colby to WaKeeney as well as roads from west of Garden City to the Colorado state line. Blizzard conditions over the Northern Great Plains and Upper Midwest are expected to end early Friday morning.

Roads in parts of central and northern Minnesota are covered with ice and snow. The Minnesota Department of Transportation urged drivers to wait for conditions to improve if travel isn't necessary.

In South Dakota, snow and mixed precipitation will worsen as heavy snow combines with wind.

In Nebraska, whiteout conditions and crashes forced the closure of Interstate 80 between Lexington and North Platte.

Sharon Kay Oelkers captured video of snow blinding her town of Elwood, Nebraska, on Thursday morning.

"Our town has come to a complete standstill," Oelkers told CNN. "I work at the local grocery store and even we are closed and we never close."

Parts of the Southeast could get flooded

About 24 million people are under flood watches or flash flood watches through early Saturday, Norman said.

Live: Track the storms yourself

Those watches cover parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas.

Atlanta, home of the world's busiest airport, could get up to 6 inches of rain by the end of this weekend -- potentially snarling holiday travel.

Fierce storms hit Gulf Coast states

Coastal parts of Texas are getting walloped Thursday after severe weather caused in-flight injuries and spiked a football game a day earlier in the Dallas area.

"Severe storms including damaging winds and an isolated tornado are possible along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama today," Garrett said Thursday.

"Winds will also be strong from the Gulf Coast northward to the Ohio Valley, with winds gusting up to 45 mph throughout the day today."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 135372

Reported Deaths: 2406
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34290991
Ramsey14168361
Dakota9897138
Anoka8872150
Washington598672
Stearns588344
Scott342934
Olmsted327730
St. Louis302669
Wright254115
Clay232843
Nobles227616
Blue Earth20457
Carver18207
Sherburne171122
Kandiyohi17055
Rice164810
Mower152917
Winona126019
Chisago10402
Crow Wing103522
Lyon9766
Benton9509
Waseca9299
Beltrami9017
Otter Tail8737
Todd8266
Steele7613
Morrison7429
Nicollet73917
Itasca73617
Douglas7083
Freeborn6844
Polk6734
Le Sueur6315
Martin61317
McLeod6024
Goodhue59711
Watonwan5794
Becker5754
Isanti5615
Pine5490
Carlton4441
Chippewa4443
Mille Lacs41315
Hubbard3962
Dodge3940
Wabasha3840
Cass3775
Pipestone35117
Rock3404
Meeker3313
Brown3243
Unassigned29253
Yellow Medicine2856
Murray2833
Cottonwood2820
Redwood28111
Roseau2650
Fillmore2640
Renville25611
Sibley2543
Wadena2393
Faribault2350
Jackson2151
Kanabec21510
Swift2071
Houston2061
Pennington1951
Lincoln1840
Stevens1841
Aitkin1792
Koochiching1704
Pope1610
Big Stone1410
Lac qui Parle1403
Wilkin1374
Marshall1261
Lake1230
Norman1170
Mahnomen1162
Clearwater1140
Grant994
Red Lake782
Traverse570
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson420
Cook170

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 116514

Reported Deaths: 1643
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19024288
Woodbury724797
Johnson586230
Black Hawk562698
Linn5591132
Dubuque521157
Scott456639
Story401018
Dallas346344
Pottawattamie324744
Sioux244716
Buena Vista226112
Marshall202036
Webster184415
Plymouth166728
Wapello153062
Clinton149226
Muscatine147758
Des Moines139610
Cerro Gordo137726
Crawford136114
Warren12617
Carroll115612
Jasper111234
Henry10675
Marion101810
Lee95610
Tama94837
Delaware78013
Dickinson7417
Wright7271
Boone7239
Mahaska69724
Bremer6779
Washington66211
Harrison65815
Jackson6333
Benton5902
Lyon5537
Clay5354
Louisa52315
Winnebago49719
Hardin4777
Winneshiek4779
Hamilton4754
Cedar4746
Kossuth4690
Poweshiek45911
Buchanan4544
Jones4474
Floyd43711
Emmet43019
Clayton4233
Iowa4109
Page4060
Mills4053
Cherokee4032
Sac3994
Guthrie39515
Cass3903
Butler3832
Fayette3814
Franklin38118
Shelby3732
Allamakee3719
Madison3623
Chickasaw3611
Clarke3523
Humboldt3253
Hancock3204
Palo Alto3142
Grundy3115
Calhoun3094
Osceola2851
Mitchell2811
Howard2709
Monroe25911
Monona2451
Taylor2432
Jefferson2391
Union2314
Appanoose2273
Pocahontas2262
Fremont2061
Lucas2056
Ida1932
Greene1870
Van Buren1802
Davis1784
Montgomery1787
Adair1701
Keokuk1611
Decatur1500
Audubon1481
Worth1450
Wayne1213
Ringgold882
Adams810
Unassigned110
Rochester
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Mason City
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Feels Like: 19°
Albert Lea
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Feels Like: 20°
Austin
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Feels Like: 21°
Charles City
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Tracking plenty of sunshine through the week!
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