Storm system brings heavy snow and flooding

Multiple people have died as a result of a severe storm system that caused heavy snow and flooding across the US Midwest as it moves towards the east coast.

Posted: Dec 30, 2018 12:25 PM
Updated: Dec 30, 2018 12:43 PM

Six people have died 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.

The system dumped about a foot of snow in the Dakotas, Nebraska and Minnesota by Friday morning. It was forecast to bring heavy rain farther east Friday and cause messy travel conditions.

More than 11 inches of rain fell across some areas of Louisiana and Mississippi, where flash flood emergencies were issued overnight into Friday morning. More than 50 million people remained under flood and flash flood watches from Louisiana to New Jersey.

The snow across the northern Plains and upper Midwest was expected to wind down throughout Friday morning, but blowing snow was limiting visibility.

Live: Track the storms yourself

The storm system has caused major headaches for holiday travelers heading into the New Year's weekend.

Heavy rain and strong winds will combine to make travel difficult by air or road Friday in the parts of the East. Major delays are expected at airports in major cities such as New York, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Snow is forecast only in northern New England.

11 inches of rain in parts of the South

At least 11 inches of rain fell in areas of Washington Parish, Louisiana, and Walthall County, Mississippi, according to the National Weather Service office in Slidell, Louisiana.

Weather service meteorologist Bob Wagner told CNN the weather system stalled in that area for five or six hours.

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

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

A woman on a camping trip in Tennessee with two men died after they tried to cross a creek, according to CNN affiliate WTVC.

"The water came up," said Steve Lamb, director of the Marion County Emergency Management Agency. "Apparently they spent the night in the cave or somewhere in that area and then they tried to come out early this morning."

Lamb told WTVC the group probably didn't realize what they were getting into in the dark.

"This was a flash flood type of situation," he said.

'Our town has come to a complete standstill'

In addition, whiteout conditions in parts of the Midwest caused road closures and travel delays.

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.

About 1 million people were 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.

Two people in Minnesota and one in North Dakota died due to weather conditions.

A 51-year-old man died Thursday after being hit by a private pickup truck with a plow blade in Crow Wing County, Minnesota, according to Crow Wing Sheriff Tom Dahl. Visibility was poor at the time, the sheriff's office said.

In Sherburne County, Minnesota, a 47-year-old woman died after a small bus she was on collided with an SUV on Thursday, according to CNN affiliate WCCO.

A 37-year-old man from Louisiana died in Dunn County, North Dakota, when his vehicle and another collided in "snow fog" on Thursday, according to North Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Megan Christopher.

In Kansas, blizzard conditions closed a 75-mile stretch on I-70 from Colby to WaKeeney and roads from west of Garden City to Colorado.

Roads in parts of central and northern Minnesota were 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 were forecast to worsen as heavy snow combines with wind. In Nebraska, whiteout conditions and crashes forced the closure of I-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."

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
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