Winds, storms and snow – yes, snow – will beset most of nation
(CNN) — Apparently, Mother Nature’s not a fan of Mother’s Day, and she’s letting most of us have it.
At least one tornado touched down in Clay County, Nebraska, according to Loren Uden, emergency management coordinator for that county.
He reported severe damage to the downtown business area in the town of Sutton. Roofs were torn off and windows were smashed.
So far, just one injury has been reported there. A police officer in his cruiser on the edge of town suffered some minor cuts in his vehicle, Uden said.
A farm in Sutton was reduced to rubble.
“I guess it just lifted up the house and slammed it back down, because it’s just in a pile of rubble right now,” said McKenzie Gross, whose car was crushed by a tree in the severe weather.
“This was my cousin’s house. He and his wife lived there with their two kids. They weren’t home. They got out in time. They went to my aunt’s house a couple of miles away. It’s freaky to see,” she said.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Sunday as residents cleaned up from Saturday’s tornado that ripped through the small town of Orrick, east of Kansas City.
The storm brought heavy rain, strong winds and hail to many areas of the state, causing significant damage to homes, vehicles and schools, and taking down trees and power lines. The National Weather Service has given the tornado a preliminary rating of EF-2 and is surveying the damage.
In a statement, the governor urged residents to monitor conditions and heed weather alerts as another round of potentially dangerous weather is forecast for later Sunday. Nixon asked Missourians to “stay alert, use caution and take shelter immediately” if severe weather is headed their way.
An area of low pressure stretching from Texas north to the Great Lakes region threatens to produce severe thunderstorms for much of the country late Sunday, CNN meteorologists warn. The storms have the potential to produce tornadoes, hail and damaging winds of 60 mph or greater.
There was a moderate risk for severe storms across the Central Plains, including parts of Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. A tornado watch has also been issued for parts of central and eastern Iowa, including the counties of Appanoose, Davis, Putnam and Van Buren and the towns of Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Dubuque and Iowa City. Shortly after the watch was issued, a tornado warning was issued along Interstate 35, south of Des Moines.
Behind the severe weather affecting the Plains, meteorologists are keeping a watchful eye on a snowstorm in the Rockies. Winter storm warnings and advisories have been issued for parts of Utah, Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska.
Higher mountain elevations could see 1 to 2 feet of snow, with isolated pockets of up to 3 feet. Denver could see up to 5 to 10 inches of snow.
Although snow might seem unusual this time of year, it’s actually not record-setting for the Mile High City. Denver received an inch of snow on May 11, 2011, and even recorded snow as late as June 12 in 1974.
The Southwest won’t escape this wild weather either.
Very strong, damaging winds will blow into parts of southern California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico with gusts up to 50 to 60 mph. Dry conditions mixed with gusty winds could spell a fire threat. Red flag warnings have been issued as far east as the Texas Panhandle.
The only areas of the contiguous United States to escape Mother Nature’s wrath Sunday will be the Northeast and the West Coast. Most of the rest of the country will be dealing with some type of wind or storms.
Maybe New York and Los Angeles remembered to send flowers?
CNN’s Matt Daniel, Todd Borek, Matthew Stucker and AnneClaire Stapleton contributed to this report.