Three people have died in dangerous winter storms battering the U.S. during the post-Thanksgiving weekend, as 50 million people across the country are under winter weather alert.
Two children were found dead and another was missing in Arizona on Saturday after a car they were in got stuck while crossing a storm-swollen creek outside Phoenix.
A 37-year-old man was killed in a car accident near Cavour, South Dakota early Friday morning after the pickup truck he was in lost control on the icy road, fell into a ditch and rolled over.
Now there are two storms swirling over the country. One in California and another which originated in the West Coast and is headed to the Midwest and Northeast with Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and New York expected to see snow or rain early Sunday, impacting travelers returning from home from the Thanksgiving holiday.
The National Weather Service warned that Sunday’s forecast will bring heavy mountain snow and rain in California, and heavy snow and blizzard conditions from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast. In the Midwest the powerful storm will bring damaging winds and large hail. A tornado watch is in affect for parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
New York is expected to see two inches of snowfall each hour on Sunday and Monday. By Tuesday parts of the Northeast may see up to a foot of snow, according to NWS.
So far the storms have affected 327 flight as of Sunday morning alone, during the busiest travel holiday of the year. This year AAA estimated nearly 55million people traveled via roads, rails, and plane for holiday travel from Wednesday to Sunday.
‘The amount of the population under a warning, advisory or watch is extensive — it’s in the millions,’ Meteorologist Brian Hurley at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center said to the Washington Post.
The children who died in devastating floods in Arizona were first reported missing late Friday after a vehicle got stuck in Tonto Creek near Tonto Basin, northeast of Phoenix, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Rescue workers in helicopters successfully reached four other children and an adult who were stranded on an island in the creek and a second adult who was on the shore. A search was launched for the three missing children.
Two of those children, a boy and a girl, both about five-years-old, were found dead on Saturday about three miles downstream from where the vehicle became submerged, said Virgil Dodd, a sheriff spokesman.
About 30 first responders were still searching for the missing girl. ‘We hope we find the last one and bring her to safety,’ Dodd said.
The two adults were parents of four of the seven children involved in the incident. Dodd said the group was believed to be from out of town, but no details were known.
The group was in the area for a family reunion during the Thanksgiving holiday, the KPNX news channel reported.
The city of Tusayan in Arizona declared a state of emergency due to nearly two feet of snow and lack of electricity on Friday. Tusayan is located near the Grand Canyon National Park where over a foot of powdery snow was measured as of Sunday.
More than 1,000 people were left with no heat of power since early Friday, leading a shelter to be set up in the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
‘We are working to arrange emergency shelter at the National Park, in buses, and at other locations,’ Mayor Craig Sanderson said in a written statement. ‘We are working with the County Emergency Management team, Arizona Department of Transportation, (Arizona Public Service) and the National Park Service with a priority on clearing roads.’
California saw similar outages amid intense wind and rain. In parts of Southern California were left in the dark, according to Southern California Edison due to storm related issues such as strong winds and snow topped trees downing wires. The company said it would pass out firewood to affected residents.
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Source: Daily Mail