Tornadoes, flash floods, blizzards and torrential downpour came as a result of a storm system from New Mexico to Michigan and Georgia that traveled eastward Sunday.
As many as 11 people were killed, in addition to several others who were injured, in tornadoes that struck the Dallas area Saturday. Last week, snow from New Mexico through the Midwest and flooding in Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois caused severe weather conditions across the country, causing about four dozen deaths.
The National Weather Service in Dallas-Fort Worth said that an EF-4 tornado – wind gusts of between 166 and 200 miles per hour – caused destruction in Garland. Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineu said that eight of the 11 deaths occurred there. There also was significant destruction of property, with 600 structures reportedly damaged. As reported by CNN, Rowlett was rocked by an EF-3 tornado – having typical gusts of between 136 and 165 miles per hour – wreaking havoc and destruction.
A disaster declaration was issued in Dallas County by Texas governor Greg Abbott. This covered Garland, Rockwall, Collin and Ellis counties.
The severe weather caused 2100 flights to be cancelled Monday and 3700 to be delayed, flight tracking service FlightAware said. Majority of the cancelled flights were from Chicago’s two main airports.
North Texas was struck by at least nine tornadoes, with serious damage caused to property. Yahoo News reports that an estimated 1450 homes were damaged or destroyed there.
Extreme temperature struck parts of Texas. Dallas experienced a high of 82 degrees on Saturday, while on Sunday it dropped down to 41 degrees. On Monday, freezing temperatures are expected.
Parts of New Mexico experienced as much as 16 inches of snowfall, with drifts of 8 feet, late Sunday morning. The snowstorm caused Governor Susana Martinez to declare a state of emergency.
According to the National Weather Service, 20 states from New Mexico to Michigan and Georgia were issued a weather watch or warning. While some of these states are expected to receive blizzards and heavy snowfall, the forecast for the rest involve tornadoes and flash floods.