Winter storm hits High Plains as east coast enjoys warmth

Oct. 4, 2013 at 10:10 PM
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PIERRE, S.D., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A winter storm brought snow, rain and tornadoes to the High Plains while much of the eastern United States was basking in unseasonable warmth Friday.

In Wayne, Neb., a tornado destroyed homes in one part of town and left people trapped in a building, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The Weather Channel said witnesses described the twister as being as much as 2 miles wide.

A mile-wide tornado was reported in Iowa, The Weather Channel said.

The National Weather Service in Cheyenne, Wyo., posted a blizzard warning through 6 a.m. Saturday for the Nebraska Panhandle. Mike Jamski, a forecaster, said the area could get as much as 18 inches of snow.

The storm dumped more than a foot of snow on most of Wyoming, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. At least 14,000 homes and businesses served by Rocky Mountain Power lost electricity as tree limbs came down.

"It's really sad for the trees," said Rachel McBride, as she dragged tree branches out of her yard in Casper. "They didn't get a chance to show their beautiful colors."

For some, the storm was deadly. KCSR, a radio station in Chadron, Neb., reported a collision between a pickup truck and a tractor trailer on U.S. 20 between Crawford and Whitney killed three people.

Dawes County Sheriff Karl Dailey urged local residents to stay home.

"The roads are treacherous," he told the World-Herald. "If you don't have to go anywhere, don't go."

On the east coast, the temperature topped out Friday afternoon at 85 degrees, TWC said.

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