From the Colorado Rockies to the Northeast, heavy snow, wind and flooding rains are affecting 70 million Americans, leaving many without power and others stranded on roads and at airports.
Blizzards in Colorado and Wyoming and winds of up to 97 miles per hour on Wednesday shut down highways, interstates and airports, and knocked out power to about 184,000 homes and businesses in the Denver area, according to a report from the Associated Press (AP). The National Weather Service in an updated outlook Friday said "significant" snowmelt flooding is likely in the valley.
Nebraska, under a state of emergency since Tuesday night, is trying to cope with historic flooding.
The National Weather Service predicts that the storm will continue to move into Minnesota and IL, and that flooding will continue in Nebraska, Iowa and the surrounding states.
Flood warnings and watches remained in effect for Nebraska, Iowa and MI, forecasters said. It combines the force and wrath of the worst weather conditions, such as thunderstorms, severe blizzards, gusty winds, and flash floods.
On Friday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed an emergency disaster proclamation for funding to combat flooding in parts of the state caused by the "bomb cyclone".
Scores of motorists took refuge at truck stops in eastern Wyoming while blowing snow forced portions of major highways to close in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. Most of these outages are in Colorado and Texas. She said the snow was so blinding and numbing, and the wind was whipping so hard, she didn't feel safe walking to a hospital that was just down the road.
Fajman said parts of northeastern Iowa also can expect more flooding Friday and into the weekend.
'Bomb cyclone' clobbers US Plains: Videos
About 175,000 people are without power, majority in Colorado and Texas. According to the National Weather Service, areas like Dallas and Colorado are now the most affected, but wider estimates predict that millions of Americans across the central region could be directly hit in the next few days.
The storm also contributed to the death of Corporal Daniel Groves, a Colorado State Patrol officer who was hit and killed by a vehicle as he helped another driver who had slid off Interstate 76 near Denver.
How do I get my stranded auto?
"A "bomb cyclone" happens when there's a rapid pressure drop, with a decrease of at least 24 millibars (a measure of atmospheric pressure) over 24 hours known as "bombogenesis", according to the U.S. Weather Channel".
Parts of Kentucky and IN have been under tornado warnings Thursday - and one touched down IN Union County, Ky., where a motorist recorded video of the twister on his cellphone. There are no immediate reports of any injuries, but homes and trees were damaged and power was knocked out to thousands.
Air travel has also been severely affected by the bomb cyclone.
"It is a tragic reminder that people's lives are at stake", said Shoshana Lew, head of the Colorado Department of Transportation.
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