Deadly severe weather roars through several US states

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A steel billboard and its support were blown over in Dunbar, W.Va., on April 2, after severe storms blew through the area. (AP)

LOS ANGELES, April 3, (AP): Thousands of homes and businesses were without power Tuesday as severe weather roared through several states, causing at least one death and spawning possible tornadoes.
Parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Georgia were under tornado watches into Tuesday night, while Wisconsin was experiencing a spring snowstorm.
Storms in Northeastern Oklahoma unleashed three suspected tornadoes and dumped heavy rain that was blamed for the death of a 46-year-old homeless woman in Tulsa who was sheltering inside a drainage pipe.
The woman’s boyfriend told authorities the two had gone to sleep at the entrance of the drainage pipe and were awakened by floodwaters, Tulsa Fire Department spokesperson Andy Little said. Up to 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain fell in Tulsa in about an hour, National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Darby said.
“It wasn’t a whole lot. But when it came down, it was pretty rapid,” Darby said.
In West Virginia, about 140,000 customers were without electricity Tuesday afternoon, or about 14% of all customers tracked in the state by poweroutage.us. A storm blew off part of a vacant building’s roof in Charleston, littering the street with bricks and closing the roadway to traffic. Trees were uprooted and lay in roads, lawns and in some cases, on top of cars.
Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for several counties and urged people to “exercise extreme caution.”
In Ohio, firefighters rescued two people who were trapped under a bridge Tuesday morning when a river began rising. The two were sleeping when the Scioto River started to rise, preventing them from returning to shore, the Columbus Fire Department reported. A fire department boat was sent to rescue them. No injuries were reported.
Mindy Broughton rushed into her mobile home Tuesday morning as hail began and winds picked up at the RV Park where she lives near Hanging Rock, Ohio.
Broughton and her fiance hunkered down as the mobile home quickly began rocking. Broughton said her fiance used his body to shield her as the winds raged outside.
“I said I think we may die today,” she said.
In a matter of seconds, the winds died down. When Broughton opened her mobile home door, she saw the RV Park littered with debris and overturned RVs. Luckily, Broughton said there was no one inside the overturned mobile homes.
Northeast of Cincinnati, part of Interstate 75 was blocked Tuesday afternoon when about a half-dozen power poles toppled in high winds near Wetherington, WLWT-TV reported.
In Wisconsin, forecasters warned more than a foot (30 centimeters) of heavy snow could fall in eastern parts of the state, including the Green Bay area. The state’s top election official, Meagan Wolfe, urged residents planning to vote in Tuesday’s presidential primaries to consider voting earlier in the day to avoid travel woes.
The National Weather Service said snowfall totals could range from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) over central Wisconsin and 8 to 14 inches (20 to 35 centimeters) over eastern Wisconsin, while wind gusts of 30 mph to 50 mph (48 kph to 80 kph) will create very limited visibility and make travel difficult.

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