Over 20 million residents across the South, Midwest and Northeast were warned of winter storms just a few days after an enveloping tornado struck communities close to Houston.
A tornado ravaged communities to the southeast from Houston the previous day, devastating an assisted living facility for seniors close to the city, and causing additional damage as a raging storm made its way over the Gulf Coast and began sweeping across the northeast of parts of United States.
As the storm moved towards Louisiana out of Texas on Tuesday Three people were treated with minor to moderate injuries following storms that damaged mobile homes in the region southwest from Baton Rouge, The Advocate newspaper said. An official from the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed the news, but did not provide further details.
A tornado warning that affected more than two million people was in place for areas of Alabama, Florida and Mississippi early Wednesday morning. more than 124,000 people from Arkansas and Texas did not have electricity according to PowerOutage.us which is a site that monitors power outages.
The National Weather Service office in New Orleans warned that strong tornadoes and winds up to 70 miles an hour were likely across the Gulf Coast until about 6 a.m. Eastern time.
Thunderstorms, rain and flash flooding were likely within flash flooding were possible in the Southeast this Wednesday as well as the possibility of heavy rain in a region that runs from Virginia from Virginia to Boston according to according to the Weather Service said in a forecast. A heavy snowfall was also predicted to fall on regions that comprise parts of the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday. Over 20 million residents were in these regions were under winter storm alerts when dawn drew near on Wednesday.
Following the storm’s impact on Texas the previous day, rescue personnel in Deer Park, about 19 miles to the south of Houston and near Pasadena removed debris from roads and responding to calls for help.
The storm ripped through Deer Park just before 3 p.m. It also destroyed San Jacinto Manor, a senior assisted-living facility the city’s officials claimed. There were no injuries and the city reported that it was able to move the 59 residents of the facility by the evening of Tuesday.
Emergency personnel were assessing the extent of the extent of damage within Deer Park, which included falling power lines as well as damage to homes, according to Mayor Jerry Mouton.
No deaths or injuries were confirmed, but authorities from the department stated that there were dozens of calls being received and that help might take longer than they had expected.
Similar conditions were observed the same way in Pasadena the city that is close to Deer Park and about 14 miles to the southeast of Houston in which a severe storm hit the city around 22:30 p.m. The storm caused extensive destruction to businesses and homes but there were no reported deaths according to Raul Granados who is a spokesperson of the Pasadena Police Department. There was a coordinated effort by the American Red Cross and Salvation Army are coordinating meals aid and shelters for those who have lost their homes.
The shelter for animals located in Pasadena suffered “substantial damage,” including the roof’s collapse in part Sergeant Granados stated. The shelter did not have any injuries to staff while two dogs sustained minor injuries.
The majority of animals are transferred to temporary shelters on Tuesday at night, Laura Mireles, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office told the media. The homes in two subdivisions were badly damaged.
The streets were flooded, stranding a school bus belonging to the Waller Independent School District, around 40 miles north of Houston and caused students from high schools to be moved to a different vehicle.
The Shell chemical plant located in Deer Park was experiencing “flaring,” which is the controlled combustion of gas that releases a fire from the smokestack due to the “loss of on-site steam” due to the extreme weather according to the company’s Twitter. Flaring was not a threat to the local community, according to Curtis Smith, a spokesman.
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said that he had instructed his Texas Division of Emergency Management to plan the state’s disaster response capabilities, noting that all authorities were ready. Over 100 flights had to be forced to cancel and over 500 flights delays were reported on the Tuesday of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston According to FlightAware the company that tracks flights.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency for the suburbs east of Houston about 3:00 p.m. at local time. The term tornado emergency refers to “an exceedingly rare tornado warning issued when there is a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from an imminent or ongoing tornado,” according to the Weather Service.
In Louisiana the state, the governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness tweeted messages on weather safety. “We face another severe weather threat this week,” the agency wrote, encouraging residents to be vigilant. In the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency sent similar messages regarding storm preparation.
New Orleans was hit by an incredibly destructive tornado in the month of March when a series of severe storms affected the South. Last march, two twisters struck on the area surrounding the city and killed the lives of at most one, and leaving a trail of destruction behind them.
Scientists have managed to establish links between warming of the planet and heat waves, hurricanes and droughts. However, this isn’t the case about tornadoes as of yet, as scientists uncover patterns around tornadoes as well as their behavior.