Late-winter storm brings tornadoes, snow and rain to several U.S. states

Seven twisters were reported in Oklahoma and two in Kansas as California prepares for more snow and flooding.

A man jogs past the rain-swollen Los Angeles River in Los Angeles on Friday. The area could see more of the same on Monday. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
A man jogs past the rain-swollen Los Angeles River in Los Angeles on Friday. The area could see more of the same on Monday. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A late-winter storm brought a potent mix of wind, snow and rain across a wide swath of the central U.S. early Monday, with at least seven tornadoes causing widespread damage and a dozen injuries in Oklahoma.

After battering parts of Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma throughout Sunday, the storm system was expected to continue tracking northeast, up through Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and the Great Lakes region, which was still recovering from a devastating bout of winter weather the week before.


Nearly 300,000 homes and businesses were without power Monday across several states.

At least two additional tornadoes were reported in Kansas overnight, while extreme conditions -- including powerful winds and hail -- hit parts of Texas and Oklahoma, where more than 62,000 households lost power.

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Meteorologists have confirmed seven tornadoes across Oklahoma, but many more could develop as the storm exits the region.

The storm, which stretched from western Texas to Illinois, put more than 20 million people under severe storm alerts throughout the day Sunday.

Strong winds caused extensive damage in several cities throughout Oklahoma as the system moved through the region.

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One wind gust in Memphis was clocked at 114 mph -- comparable to the force of a Category 3 hurricane.


Some of the heaviest damage was sustained in Norman, Okla., where many homes and vehicles were destroyed. An evacuation shelter was immediately set up and disaster workers with the Red Cross were prepared to move in when conditions allowed.

All the known injuries were said to be non-life threatening, and no deaths have been reported.

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Earlier Sunday, military personnel at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., moved aircraft to hangars and evacuated in anticipation of the damaging weather.

The system was expected to begin shifting north by Monday afternoon, with extreme weather in the forecast for Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

Storms that hit the country last week also brought blizzard conditions and flash floods to parts of northern California, which could see more of the same Monday as a separate system delivers heavy rain and snow in the Pacific Northwest, prompting severe weather alerts across nine states.

Higher elevations of Oregon, Washington and Colorado could see 3 to 10 inches of snow through Tuesday, while a blizzard warning was issued for the Sierra Nevada mountains, where snowfall was expected to reach up to 6 feet.

Over the weekend, severe weather forced rangers to close Yosemite National Park, where forecasts are calling for as much as 84 inches of snow by Wednesday.


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