United States storms: At least eight killed in severe weather

The NWS issued a tornado warning for MS early on Saturday.

About 67,000 customers were without power in Alabama on Saturday night, according to Alabama Power.

In Alabama, the Birmingham National Weather Service said three deaths were confirmed following a tornado touching down in Pickens County. "Heavy rainfall along the OH and Wabash rivers will cause water levels to rise to minor flood stage around mid-week".

The main threats hitting central and southern parts of the USA are damaging winds, large hail, snow, flooding and a few tornadoes in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. The National Weather Service issued a watch Saturday afternoon for parts of Georgia, North Carolina and SC until midnight EST. A second firefighter was struck and was in critical condition at a hospital.

"If people would respect road conditions, this never would have happened", Lubbock Fire Chief Shaun Fogerson said. The severe weather also wiped out the homes the people were, the sheriff added. The deaths happened near the town of Carrollton, emergency management officials said.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said portions of several highways in the southeastern part of the state were closed due to flooding.

Additionally, Alabama Power tweeted that as of 6 p.m. local time Saturday, there were about 84,000 customers without power as a result of the severe weather, although it said its "crews continue to make progress in returning service to customers".

She added there was a widespread downing of trees and power lines.

Storms demolished a couple homes around the southwestern Missouri community of Fair Play, about a 140-mile drive south of Kansas City, CNN affiliate KOLR reported. "The tornado packing 135 miles per hour winds traveled over their residence at 438 Davis Road just before 2 a.m.", the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook. Raymond Holden was in bed when the tree fell on his home, crushing him.

Oravec said that hurricane-force wind gusts of about 120 kmh have been reported in across the southeast.

Inside, two of the poles protruded from the ceiling - one above one room, and one above another.

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Flood warnings and watches were in effect in many states the long line of storms is hitting.

"Damaging winds are our biggest concern because of the widespread nature of that threat, with tornadoes not far behind that". Some storms could produce hail as big as small marbles.

Meteorologists believe such a drastic forecast for the area is issued two to four times each year, on average.

Tornado watchers covered parts of eastern Texas, northwestern Louisiana, southern Missouri and much of Arkansas on Friday night.

In Chicago, strong winds - including gusts over 50 miles per hour - accompanied light snow and rain Saturday morning. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people from Texas to OH were reportedly left without power-and numerous flights were canceled or delayed at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

All rains should end Saturday afternoon, with even some intervals of sun expected before the day is done. The National Weather Service warned of high winds and flooding and the potential for 10-foot-high (3-meter-high) waves on beaches, where northern visitors escaping the cold are a common sight during the winter.

In Michigan, some areas could see up to three-quarters of an inch of ice.

"Ice storms can be extremely unsafe", CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.

In Nacogdoches County, Texas, authorities said one person died when a tree fell on their home, KTRE reported.

"Power could be out for days, with temperatures below freezing", he said.

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