Reports: 6 Dead after Storms Plow into Ohio Valley, Plains, South

By Mark Leberfinger, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
December 22, 2013; 7:33 PM ET
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7:30 p.m. EST Sunday:
This blog is no longer live as the storm winds down. See reports from the storm below.


As more than 94 million take to the roads and skies this weekend, a winter storm continues to create headaches for early Christmas travelers.

At least six people died as a result of the storms. Four people died in flash flooding in Kentucky, officials said. One person died in a tornado Saturday in Arkansas and another died in a tornado near Bobo, Miss.

The deadly tornadoes were both rated as EF-2s on the Enhanced Fujita scale, the National Weather Service said.

Thousands of people were without power Sunday, including more than 300,000 customers in Toronto. Massive power outages also occurred in Maine, central Michigan and northern New York.

After more than a foot of snow and significant icing occurred across the southern Plains on Saturday, the ice storm is impacting northern New England for the second half of this weekend.

Disruptive snow will also continue to stretch from the Upper Midwest to central Ontario and northern Maine.

On the warm side of the storm, heavy rain has heightened concerns for flash flooding from the central Gulf Coast to the central and southern Appalachians as records are being shattered across the East.

RELATED:
Christmas Travelers Face More Snow, Ice, Storms
AccuWeather Winter Weather Center
Map: Current Weather Watches and Warnings


UPDATES: (All times are listed in CST)

5:50 p.m. Sunday: Rockford, Ill., sets two Dec. 22 records: record rainfall of 0.56 inches (previous record: 0.53, 1979) and record snowfall of 5 inches (previous record: 3.4, 2009).

5:45 p.m. Sunday: With 7.7 inches of snow, Milwaukee shatters its Dec. 22 snowfall record that was set in 1896 with 2.8 inches.

5:08 p.m. Sunday: One person died and three people were injured in Saturday's tornado that touched down near Hughes in St. Francis County, Ark., the National Weather Service forecast office in Memphis, Tenn., said. The tornado was rated an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale with a maximum wind speed of 130 mph. It had a peak length of 15.6 miles and a peak width of 300 yards.

Three homes and an outbuilding were destroyed and two homes and a barn were damaged.

4:50 p.m. Sunday: More than 44,000 National Grid customers were still without power late Sunday afternoon.

4:40 p.m. Sunday: More high temperature records fall for Dec. 22: Zanesville, Ohio, 68 degrees, with old record of 63 in 1949, and DuBois, Pa., 65 degrees, with old record of 58 in 1990.

4:10 p.m. Sunday: Piedmont Triad International Airport, Greensboro, N.C., breaks a venerable temperature record for Dec. 22. It was 73 Fahrenheit at the airport. The old record was 71 degrees, set in 1923.

3:50 p.m. Sunday: A half inch of freezing rain was reported by a NWS spotter at Ellsworth, Maine. Another spotter reported 2.5 inches of sleet, two miles south-southeast of Kingsbury, Maine.

3:45 p.m. Sunday: DTE Energy provides photo of ice-storm damage repairs in Oakland County, Mich.

3:35 p.m. Sunday: Canadians improvise to travel during ice storm.

3:30 p.m. Sunday: More than 129,000 Hydro One power customers are without service near Toronto, according to the utility's website.

2:52 p.m. Sunday: Three people died and two others were injured after their vehicle was swept away by flash flooding about 3 a.m. Sunday near New Hope, Ky., a Nelson County official reported. A fourth person was found dead in a creek bed away from his vehicle near Barlow, Ky., the Ballard County Emergency Management office reported.

2:46 p.m. Sunday: Slightly more than 3 inches of rain fell in Anderson, Ind., emergency manager reported.

2:33 p.m. Sunday: More than 192,000 Michigan customers were without electricity, making more than 500,000 customers without service in U.S. and Canada, according to utility websites.

2:05 p.m. Sunday: Rain engulfs Bank of America Stadium during third quarter of the Carolina Panthers-New Orleans Saints game in Charlotte, N.C.

2:01 p.m. Sunday: Tree damage in Toronto.

1:34 p.m. Sunday: A severe thunderstorm capable of producing damaging winds is heading toward Charlotte, N.C., where the Panthers-Saints game is being played.

1:22 p.m. Sunday: A mobile home park was evacuated after flash flooding near Lyndonville, Vt., emergency manager reported.

1:07 p.m. Sunday: Eight inches of snow fell near Mount Ayr, Iowa, NWS spotter reported.

12:55 p.m. Sunday: "We have to manage. We have to come together," Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said at a news conference on the major storm that hit his city. Ford called the storm "one of the worst storms in Toronto history" and "a very, very difficult situation."

12:45 p.m. Sunday: 0.30 inches of ice at Sanborn, N.Y., NWS spotter reported.

12:32 p.m. Sunday: More than 332,000 customers without electricity from storm in U.S. and Canada, most of those in Toronto.

12:01 p.m. Sunday: More than 7.7 inches of rain fell between Saturday and Sunday in Trumann, Ark., emergency manager reported.

11:56 a.m. Sunday: More than 14,000 Bangor Hydro Electric Co. customers were without power in Maine, according to the utility's website. Another 2,500 Central Maine Power Co. customers also lost power.

11:43 a.m. Sunday: Maine Gov. Paul LePage announced that he earlier signed a proclamation that allows utility crews to drive additional hours to repair lines and restore power if widespread outages occur.

11:30 a.m. Sunday: Speed restrictions on I-95, such as this webcam view near Bangor, Maine, and I-295, Maine DOT said.

11:24 a.m. Sunday: Toronto Hydro warns customers of 72-hour restoration times from storm.

11:15 a.m. Sunday: More than 11,500 FirstEnergy-affiliated customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are without power, according to the utility.

10:55 a.m. Sunday: Over 65,000 customers are without power in upstate New York according to National Grid. "It's the largest crew we've had out there since 1998," Karen Young, a media representative for National Grid, told the Watertown Daily Times, referring to the 1,600 National Grid employees working to restore power.

10:10 a.m. Sunday: A flash flood warning has been issued for parts of Essex and Clinton counties in northern New York. Ice jams are causing extremely rapid rises in water levels and flash flooding on the east branch of the Ausable River.

10:00 a.m. Sunday: Significant tree damage has been reported in Hastings, Mich. Many 8- to 10-inch diameter tree limbs are down and there is no power in the area. A National Weather Service observer estimates a half inch of ice is covering objects and said this was one of the top five storms he has experienced living in the area since 1958.

9:41 a.m. Sunday: Heavy rain is soaking Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport leading to gate holds and taxi delays, according to the FAA.

9:25 a.m. Sunday: Heavy snow reported at Milwaukee's General Mitchell Airport with visibilities down to one-eighth of a mile. Multiple vehicle incidents being reported on I-43 and U.S. 45, according to Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

9:12 a.m. Sunday: Philadelphia International Airport is experiencing a ground delay affecting arriving flights. Flights are being delayed an average of 91 minutes, according to the FAA.

9:02 a.m. Sunday: Concern growing for a few gusty thunderstorms across southern Maryland and eastern Virginia

8:40 a.m. Sunday: Toronto Hydro tweeted a lengthy power outage is possible for the area. Freezing rain continues to glaze the city at this hour.

8:25 a.m. Sunday: FlightStats.com reports that 160 flights have been canceled so far this Sunday at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

8:20 a.m. Sunday: The following map from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation showed that numerous major roads across southern and central parts of the state were snow covered.

8:10 a.m. Sunday: AccuWeather.com received a report of freezing rain amounting to 1.25 inches in Canton, N.Y., leading to numerous downed trees and power lines.

8:00 a.m. Sunday: Snow has dropped visibility down to a quarter-mile in Racine, Wis.

7:54 a.m. Sunday: North of Chicago, a Facebook user reported 2 inches of snow in Beach Park, Ill.

7:30 a.m. Sunday: Freezing drizzle continues in Toronto, where Toronto Hydro tweeted about an hour ago that more than 250,000 customers were without power.

7:21 a.m. Sunday: A band of heavy rain is soaking northern and western parts of Atlanta.

7:09 a.m. Sunday: After experiencing rain and freezing drizzle overnight, snow has reached Chicago. Up to an inch of accumulation is expected with higher amounts to the north and west.

7:07 a.m. Sunday: Latest snowfall totals include 8 inches in Blaine, Kan., and Humeston, Iowa, according to National Weather Service spotters.

5:50 a.m. Sunday: The official snowfall total at Des Moines, Iowa, came in at 5.9 inches.

5:29 a.m. Sunday: More freezing rain and ice reports are pouring in from central and eastern Michigan. A half inch of ice was reported in Flint, Mich., and a quarter inch in White Lake, just northwest of Detroit.

4:43 a.m. Sunday: Winds from the west at Jennings Randolph Field Airport reached 52 mph as the front moved through the area early in the morning.

3:30 a.m. Sunday: The mid-Atlantic is having crazy warm temperatures ahead of the storm. Washington hit 70 degrees, only 2 degrees below the daily record. Wilkes-Barre, Pa., reached 60 degrees.

1:13 a.m. Sunday:The line of gusty rain is moving into Pennsylvania and West Virginia early this morning.

12:20 a.m. Sunday: More than a quarter inch of ice was reported across southern portions of the state, including Oakland, Kent and Calhoun counties.

11:13 p.m. Saturday: Major flooding was reported in Drake County, Ohio, where water was rushing over roadways and into homes, making sandbags necessary.

10:05 p.m. Saturday: NWS spotters in Wilson County, Tenn., just east of Nashville, reported seeing a funnel cloud with the line of gusty thunderstorms this evening.

9:29 p.m. Saturday: Thunderstorms that pushed through the Louisville, Ky., area produced wind gusts as high as 60 mph, knocking down tree limbs and power lines.

9:02 p.m. Saturday: Some of the highest snowfall totals from the storm are coming in from Pawnee and Barton counties in central Kansas, with snow accumulations between 12 and 14 inches.

8:13 p.m. Saturday: An inch of freezing rain has accumulated in St. Lawrence County in northern New York today, bringing down multiple tree limbs, according to emergency managers.

7:53 p.m. Saturday: Water flowing over roadways in McCracken County, Ky. Emergency manager reports that enough water is over roads to cause vehicles to lose control.

7:47 p.m. Saturday: Fire department in Senatobia, Miss., reports a car blew off the roadway on I-55. Strong winds also blew the roof off of a nearby fitness center. Most of the city is without power.

6:55 p.m. Saturday: Many roads flooded and several closed throughout Wayne County, Ind., a trained spotter reports. Rainfall from yesterday through today has totaled more than 3 inches.

6:16 p.m. Saturday:NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared Clinton, Essex, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties in New York under a state of emergency until further notice due to the winter weather.

5:56 p.m. Saturday: Water rescue was in progress on State Road 64 east of Oakland City, near the Pike County line. Three people were standing on top of a vehicle that was submerged underwater, a trained spotter reported.

5:45 p.m. Saturday: The worst conditions over the next two hours will be across western Tenn., western Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana. The main cities to be affected over the next few hours will be Memphis, Tenn., Jackson, Miss., Alexandria, La., Lake Charles, La., and Vicksburg, Miss.

5:30 p.m. Saturday: 4.39 inches of rain reported by the emergency manager in Obion County, Tenn. Widespread street and rural flooding is occurring in Union City, where the water is rising quickly. Highway 183 is flooded.

5:01 p.m. Saturday: Delayed report by the emergency manager of three injured in Hughes, St. Francis County, Ark., after a possible tornado. Two houses completely destroyed and three with significant roof damage. Numerous trees and power lines are downed throughout the area.

4:50 p.m. Saturday: Snow is making for slippery travel on roadways in parts of north Texas:

4:34 p.m. Saturday: Law enforcement reports between 4 to 5 inches of snow in Perryton, Texas. All roads in an out of Ochiltree County are extremely hazardous and snow packed. Multiple vehicles have skidded off the road.

3:38 p.m. Saturday: The sheriff in Crittenden County, Ark., 9 miles west of Memphis, reported a tornado on the ground at 3:38 p.m. and overturned semis on Interstate 40 near mile marker 276.

3:36 p.m. Saturday: Emergency manager reports a roof blew off a house on Highway 38 near Hughes, Ark.

3:22 p.m. Saturday: Widespread flooding reported throughout Gallatin County, Ill. The county has received 4.6 inches of rainfall since late last evening, the local emergency manager reports.

3:05 p.m. Saturday: Flooding reported in Vilonia, Ark.:

3:00 p.m. Saturday: Flash flooding reported in Jefferson County, Ark. Law enforcement reports three cars stalled in the high water.

2:40 p.m. Saturday: 27,000 people reported without power in Sabine County, Texas, 911 call center reports. Numerous trees and power lines are downed throughout the area.

2:32 p.m. Saturday: Photo taken in Kansas City, Mo.:

2:10 p.m. Saturday:Trees and power lines downed across Jefferson County, N.Y., law enforcement reports.

2:00 p.m. Saturday: Southwestern Electric Power company reports 5,791 customers without power in NW Louisiana, most in the Shreveport area.

1:42 p.m. Saturday: Widespread street flooding reported in Evansville, Ind., with areas of standing and running water across the Lloyd Expressway, a trained spotter reports.

1:28 p.m. Saturday: American Electric Power reports that nearly 10,000 customers are without electricity in Oklahoma, including more than 7,100 in Tulsa, Okla.

1:22 p.m. Saturday: Butler County emergency services reported that a water rescue was ongoing near Poplar Bluff, Mo., with two people trapped.

12:20 p.m. Saturday: Law enforcement reports that tree limbs and power lines are down in St. Lawrence County, N.Y. There is about a half inch ice accumulation on elevated surfaces.

11:10 a.m. Saturday: Storm total rainfall (inches) from official reporting sides include: Little Rock, Ark., 4.37; Poplar Bluff, Mo., 3.27; Cairo, Ill., 3.33; and Washington, Ind., 2.48.

11:00 a.m. Saturday: Carmi and Ware, Ill., have both received 4.90 inches of rain since Friday evening.

10:40 a.m. Saturday: Moderate to major river flooding is forecast for lesser rivers in the Ohio Valley, by the NWS River Forecast Center.

10:10 a.m. Saturday: In the heart of the ice storm, American Electric Power reports that nearly 6,200 are without electricity in Oklahoma, including more than 4,200 in Tulsa, Okla.

9:50 a.m. Saturday: Conditions are becoming more favorable for severe thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts and a few intense tornadoes from part of northeastern Texas to much of western and central Louisiana to southern Arkansas at this time until this evening.

9:00 a.m. Saturday: MODOT is reporting that multiple secondary roads in southeastern Missouri are experiencing poor drainage area flooding. Some "letter" routes are closed.

9:00 a.m. Saturday: At Chicago O'Hare Airport, according to FlightStats, delays are excessive due to aircrafts from other airports running behind schedule.

8:40 a.m. Saturday: The temperature is 15 degrees with a visibility of one-sixteenth of a mile in freezing fog at Denver International Airport. Approximately 600 outgoing flights maybe delayed due to deicing activities according to FlightStats.

8:40 a.m. Saturday: Travel on I-35 in central Oklahoma is being discouraged by ODOT.

8:34 a.m. Saturday: Public reports up to a half inch of ice on trees along the Will Rogers Turnpike in northeastern Oklahoma.

8:30 a.m. Saturday: In the heart of the ice storm, American Electric Power reports that nearly 4,700 are without electricity in Oklahoma, including more than 1,700 in Tulsa, Okla.

7:50 a.m. Saturday: Street flooding on the southern side of Carbondale, Ill., with 3.32 inches of rain since midnight, according to NWS spotter.

7:35 a.m. Saturday: Widespread flooding of streets is occurring in Little Rock, Ark. Pulaski County, Ark., has received between 1.5 to 3.5 inches of rain thus far from the storm.

7:30 a.m. Saturday: Storm total for rainfall is close to 3 inches so far near Vincennes, Ind., according to NWS spotter.

7:00 a.m. Saturday: Little Rock, Ark., has received 2.40 inches of rain thus far from the storm with 2.15 inches falling on Cairo, Ill. With many hours of rain to go, flash flood warnings have been issued from Arkansas to southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

4:05 a.m. Saturday: A NWS employee reported one-third of an inch of ice on trees and elevated surfaces around Tulsa, Okla.

3:23 a.m. Saturday: A thin glaze of ice contributed to multiple vehicle accidents in East Wichita, Kan., according to Sedgwick County emergency dispatch.

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