West News Wire: As winter storms continue to cause catastrophic weather across the nation, a series of tornadoes has pounded the central United States, leaving a trail of destruction and injuries.
On Sunday night, nine tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service, tore through Kansas, Oklahoma, and northwest Texas, flipping automobiles and bringing down trees and electrical lines. According to Poweroutage.us, the violent winds in Oklahoma knocked out the electricity for around 12,000 homes and businesses.
Frances Tabler, an Oklahoma homeowner, told the KOCO-TV station, “I could hear the wind coming.” “All of a sudden, I could hear them just crashing, busting out of all the back windows, where the kids’ beds are. The wind simply knocked me back after I stood up, and I started screaming.
“It was just like a blizzard in the house with all the debris flying. I was screaming for my kids.”
Authorities in the city of Norman, Oklahoma, reported at least 12 weather-related injuries, none of them critical. In other areas of the US, extreme weather has resulted in dangerous conditions, travel delays and damage to infrastructure.
In Michigan, a state in the Great Lakes region near Canada, ice storms have cut power to many residents over the past five days. According to Poweroutage.us, more than 130,000 homes and businesses remained without electricity on Monday.
Meanwhile, in northeastern states such as Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, a blanket of heavy snow is expected on Monday and Tuesday.
And on the West Coast, heavy rain complicated travel and flooded roads in California.
Winter storms even brought rare snowfall to parts of the state where hills dusted in white are a rare sight. In the central coastal city of Santa Barbara, residents posted videos of people snowboarding down the usually arid hills outside the city.
While climate change has supercharged many forms of extreme weather, such as heatwaves and flooding, its effect on the severity and frequency of winter storms is more complex, according to Tom DiLiberto, a climate scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.