At least three dead as ice storms stir up tornadoes across the US

US

A mother and her eight-year-old son are among at least three people who died as a destructive storm system that stirred up tornadoes swept through the US.

To the north, it delivered blizzard-like conditions to the Great Plains and was expected to push more snow and ice into Appalachia and New England.

The wintery blast dumped more than two feet (60cm) of snow in parts of South Dakota.

To the south, it produced a number of tornadoes.

Outside New Orleans, eight people were taken to hospital and one woman was found dead after a suspected twister struck the community of Killona along the Mississippi River, damaging homes and flinging debris.

Damage is seen along Schoolhouse Road after a tornado moved through area in Killona, La., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Brett Duke/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
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Cars got flipped. Pic:The New Orleans Advocate via AP
Debris is piled up following severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Keithville, La. A volatile storm ripping across the U.S. spawned tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with more punishing weather Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jake Bleiberg)
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Homes were totally destroyed. Pic: AP

Sheriff Greg Champagne said: “There was debris everywhere. This was a horrific and a very violent tornado.”

And about 280 miles (450 kilometres) away in northern Louisiana, emergency services found the bodies of a mother and eight-year-old boy reported missing after another tornado swept away their mobile home.

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A steady stream of tornado warnings was issued on Wednesday across large portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Power lines and metal roofing are seen in a tornado damaged neighborhood in Gretna, La., in Jefferson Parish neighboring New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
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Power lines were smashed. Pic: AP

One, which touched down in southwest Louisiana, damaged several buildings on the campus of a hospital, another, in neighbouring Mississippi, destroyed four large chicken houses – one containing 5,000 roosters.

Mobile homes at a nearby park were reduced to piles of shredded debris.

Dozens of homes and businesses were destroyed in Texas, too.

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At least five people were injured In the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, police said. A possible tornado blew the roof off the city’s municipal service centre, leaving debris dangling from power lines.

The forecast was for more severe storms with additional tornadoes to be expected across an area of the Gulf Coast region populated by nearly three million people from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama.

A Winn-Dixie employee talks to a customer telling them the store is closed after the facade had fallen down due to a tornado in Gretna, La., in Jefferson Parish neighboring New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. No one was injured at the store. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
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The front of a supermarket came crashing down. Pic: AP
Gordon Weyaus, left, and Katy Little with dog Jax walk along Mandan Street in Bismarck, N.D., in the snow on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
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The storm system also blanketed North Dakota with snow. Pic: The Bismarck Tribune via AP

More damaging weather was also forecast for the Florida panhandle.

Icy weather from the huge storm was expected to affect the US from coast to coast at some point, with ice and snow heading to the eastern US in coming days.

Frank Pereira, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, said: “This system is notable for the fact that it’s going to impact areas all the way from California to eventually the northeast.”

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