Tornado sirens sounded across Dallas and other parts of Texas on Thursday, and high winds overturned several tractor-trailers as severe weather battered parts of the state and beyond, authorities said.
No deaths had been immediately reported. Texas Utility oncor said more than 170,000 homes and businesses were without power Thursday night.
Tornadoes were reported in Franklin and Hopkins counties in Texas, which are east of Dallas, and in the Shreveport, Louisiana area, the National Weather Service said. Storm surveys are conducted to confirm if reported tornadoes actually occurred.
The high, damaging winds in parts of the southern U.S. occurred as mountainous areas of southern California remained buried under foot-trapping snow, authorities there said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for 13 counties, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said MREs would fly helicopters to affected communities. The California National Guard said Thursday it would send a UH-60 Blackhawk to help.
“We know the roofs are starting to collapse,” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors President Dawn Rowe, whose district includes some of the hardest-hit areas, said Wednesday.
About 10 feet of snow fell in some of the mountain communities in the county, which lies east of Los Angeles, the county fire department said.
Plowing was underway around the clock to try to clear highways, the California Department of Transportation, known as Caltrans, said.
County Fire Chief Dan Munsey said Wednesday that the fire department had responded to nearly 100 rescue calls.
The National Weather Service saying The snow total for Snow Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains was 120 inches, or 10 feet, from February 22 through Wednesday. In Crestline, where the roof of a grocery store collapsed this weekit was 91 inches.
Andrew Braggins, 43, said The Associated Press that the roof of his kitchen in Crestline began to sag from the weight of all the snow, prompting him to shovel his roof, where 5 feet had accumulated.
“I have friends a few streets away and they have been without power for days,” Braggins said. “You can stock up for a storm. But this storm kept coming.»
Tornado warnings covered about 3.5 million people in Texas and the South Thursday night, according to the weather service. The guards stretched from eastern Dallas to Arkansas and northern Louisiana.
Louisiana State University Shreveport sustained minor damage after a storm hit around 5:45 p.m.
The weather service in Shreveport said it would investigate possible areas of damage in the region to see if tornadoes had developed. Video shared by the agency appeared to show one in Shreveport.
NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported that his crews saw five overturned tractor-trailers on highways north and east of Dallas.