Tornado in Bell County Texas injures 23 people


Bell County Judge David Blackburn said twelve of the injured have been hospitalized, believing they all have an account.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said two confirmed tornadoes occurred in Bell County, the central region of the state.

Blackburn said 911 calls reported a twister at around 5:40 p.m. local time on Tuesday. He said a tornado crossed the county line from neighboring Williamson County, moving seven miles over land.

Blackburn said the damage ranged from damaged power lines and trees to the flattening of buildings, turning into rubble in many areas.

“I think it popped up fairly quickly,” Blackburn said. “The extent of the damage is important. It is surprising to have no reports of death, at least at this point in time.”

Tuesday brought in a double-threat storm system that caused at least eight tornadoes primarily in Texas and Iowa, as well as heavy snow in several states including the Dakota, Montana and Minnesota.

There were blizzard warnings in parts of the Dakota and Montana and forecasters warned of treacherous whitewashing conditions on the roads.

More than 500 miles of Interstate 94 between Montana and North Dakota closed with heavy snow.

According to the NWS, a mountainous area near Pony, Montana recorded 47 inches of snow in a 24-hour period. More than a foot of snow has fallen in many other parts of the state.

In North Dakota, more than a foot of snow has been reported in several places, including Grand Forks and Rockford, according to NWS data.

“We do get blizzards in April, but one of this intensity is quite rare,” Jeff Schild, a meteorologist at the Office of the Weather Service in Bismarck, told CNN early Tuesday. “The last note for this level of intensity was April 4-7 in 1997.”

97 lakh bad weather on Wednesday

As the system moves east, it is posing a trio of threats – destructive winds, tornadoes and large hail.

More than 97 million people are under some sort of severe weather alert as of Wednesday, stretching from Texas and Louisiana to Missouri and Illinois.

The most significant threats are expected in Memphis, Tennessee; Evansville, Indiana; Jonesboro and Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Owensboro, Kentucky – where more than 4 million people are at moderate risk (Level 4 of 5). Strong winds, tornadoes as well as large hail could be seen in these cities.

The Storm Prediction Center said that overall, strong thunderstorms could affect a large portion of the mid- and mid-Mississippi Valley in the Midwest as well as the lower Ohio Valley.

Elsewhere, parts of Montana, North Dakota and northern Minnesota could also see heavy snow on Wednesday. The snowfall is expected to end on Thursday, followed by extremely cold temperatures.

“Western North Dakota will see a low overnight drop in the teens, and with strong winds, wind gusts will be in the single digits below zero, which is quite chilly,” the Bismarck Weather Service office said.

On Friday, higher temperatures will likely make it into the 20s, about 30 degrees below normal. This region may break the record of low maximum temperature.

CNN’s Dave Alsup, Robert Shackelford, Amy Simonson, Jennifer Grey, Steve Almasy and Taylor Ward contributed to this report.

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