The weather systems unleashed three sets of menacing conditions this weekend: thunderstorms and tornado risks in the South, more wildfire danger in Oklahoma and the southern Plains, and a blizzard in the upper Plains and Upper Midwest.
Tornadoes in the South
A man was killed in Greensboro, North Carolina, Sunday when a tornado tore through the city. The tornado hit Greensboro around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, said Dwayne Church with the Greensboro Fire Department.
Church tells CNN the man was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle. Damage assessment is still taking place, Church said, but he confirmed that some residential structures and apartment buildings were damaged.
Severe storms already made their mark in western Arkansas, where a tornado flattened several homes Friday in Mountainburg, the town’s mayor told CNN. A National Weather Service survey Friday in Mountain Home, Arkansas, showed that straight-line winds reached up to 85 miles per hour in the area, according to CNN affiliate KFSM-TV.
Wildfire in Oklahoma
Wildfires killed at least two people in Oklahoma
and forced the evacuation of four towns in the state, authorities said.
A 61-year-old man died in the wildfire in Roger Mills County on Thursday, and a woman died in her car in Dewey County as a result of the Rhea Fire, according to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Seven people have suffered smoke inhalation or heat-related injuries, the department said.
Blazes in Oklahoma have already consumed more than 350,000 acres
and forced some towns to evacuate. The largest blaze was in Oklahoma’s Dewey County, which had burned more than 240,000 acres by Sunday morning and was only 3% contained, according to Oklahoma Forestry Services. The critical fire weather conditions are expected to continue in parts of the state on Monday and Tuesday.
Ice storms in the Midwest
About 310,000 customers with Michigan’s electric and gas company DTE are without power, according to a company news release. The power outage comes after an ice storm hit southeast Michigan on Sunday, the release said.
Some parts of the northern Plains have picked up 1 to 2 feet of snow since Thursday. And blizzard warnings — forecasting heavy snow and strong winds combining for whiteout conditions — were in place Saturday in parts of Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota.
Parts of the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest could receive 8 inches to 2 feet of snow through the weekend