Deaths Blamed On Wintry Storm In Central U.S.

Sunday, November 29th 2015, 7:08 am
By: News 9

A slow-moving wintry storm system that has been blamed for more than a dozen deaths began moving eastward out of Texas on Saturday but kept coating some states to the north in ice, making driving dangerous.

The band of storms that has been moving through parts of the Plains and the Midwest since Thursday has been blamed for at least 14 deaths, including eight in Texas and six in Kansas.

A 70-year-old woman whose car was swept away by flash flooding Friday in Fort Worth remained missing Saturday. The bodies of three other people killed in the flooding were found Friday.

Although the icy conditions were expected to persist in parts of Oklahoma and Kansas through the end of Saturday, temperatures on Sunday were expected to be above freezing in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, allowing the region to thaw out, the National Weather Service said.

After "a major refreeze" Saturday night, "we're expecting a much better day" Sunday "and Monday is expected to be beautiful," said Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Paul Braun in Amarillo.

On Saturday, authorities in Kansas blamed icy roads for four Friday traffic deaths near Wichita, adding to two others in the state Thursday.

A Winter Weather Advisory was in place for central and eastern Kansas as freezing rain and freezing drizzle mixed with sleet continued to move across the region, CBS affiliate KWCH meteorologist Dean Jones said. Temperatures in the Wichita area Saturday morning were in the 20s and lower 30s with wind chills in the teens and low 20s.

In central and southwestern Oklahoma, broken ice-covered tree limbs downed power lines and cut electricity to more than 60,000 customers.

Northeastern Texas and central Arkansas were still expecting up to four more inches of rain, adding to the threat of flooding.

Seven people were rescued from vehicles in floodwaters in separate incidents at the same intersection near Afton in northeastern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Afton firefighters said three small children and two women were rescued from their car after the car was swept into a creek at the intersection of two county roads.

Rain was forecast Sunday from Texas to the Mid-Atlantic states. Freezing drizzle was expected in southern Nebraska and central Kansas, while snow was expected from Colorado to the western Dakotas.