3 dead in Louisiana as US storm spawns Southern tornadoes

Winter Weather Louisiana The scene of a destroyed home is seen in Keithville, La., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, after a fatal tornado touched down the day before. (Makenzie Boucher/The Shreveport Times via AP)
Winter Weather Louisiana Dark clouds hang over Bradley Lane after a tornado destroyed several mobile homes in the area, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in New Iberia, La. (Leslie Westbrook/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
Winter Weather Louisiana Damage is seen along Schoolhouse Road after a tornado moved through area in Killona, La., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Brett Duke/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
Winter Weather Louisiana A house is seen damaged after a confirmed tornado on Friscoville Avenue in Arabi, La., in St. Bernard Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Winter Weather Louisiana A recreational vehicle is damaged from severe weather next to a collapsed building on N. Peters Street in Arabi, La., in St. Bernard Parish Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Winter Weather Louisiana A recreational vehicle is damaged from severe weather next to a collapsed building on N. Peters Street in Arabi, La., in St. Bernard Parish Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Winter Weather Louisiana A utility worker checks lines following severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Keithville, La. A volatile storm ripping across the U.S. spawned tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with more punishing weather Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jake Bleiberg)
Winter Weather Louisiana Destruction is seen from a tornado that tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Theresa Kiemele clears a sidewalk in the falling snow outside her business, Westley's Jewelers, in downtown Bismarck, N.D., on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Severe Weather Damage to a home is seen in Keithville, La., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, after a tornado touched down Tuesday, Dec. 13. (Makenzie Boucher/The Shreveport Times via AP)
Winter Weather This image provided by Historic Bullock Hotel Manager Vicki Weekly shows snow piled in front of the Historic Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, S.D., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Vicki Weekly via AP)
Winter Weather This image provided by Historic Bullock Hotel Manager Vicki Weekly shows snow piled in front of the Historic Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, S.D., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Vicki Weekly via AP)
Winter Weather This image provided by Historic Bullock Hotel Manager Vicki Weekly shows snow piled in front of the Historic Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, S.D., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Vicki Weekly via AP)
Winter Weather An emergency worker moves debris on top of damaged house early Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. ,A destructive storm marched across the United States, spawning tornadoes that touched down in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, where two deaths were reported, and it delivered blizzard-like conditions to the Great Plains and threatened more severe weather Wednesday in the South. (KSLA via AP)
Winter Weather Emergency workers looks through a damaged house early Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. ,A destructive storm marched across the United States, spawning tornadoes that touched down in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, where two deaths were reported, and it delivered blizzard-like conditions to the Great Plains and threatened more severe weather Wednesday in the South. (KSLA via AP)
Winter Weather Colorado An electronic sign advises motorists in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 that winter weather has forced the closure of the interstate Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Aurora, Colo. A massive winter storm has closed roads throughout northeast Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Winter Weather North Dakota Mike Howarth is dressed for the winter weather while shopping in downtown Bismarck, N.D., on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Winter Weather Gordon Weyaus, left, and Katy Little with dog Jax walk along Mandan Street in Bismarck, N.D., in the snow on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Winter Weather North Dakota With most city streets in Bismarck, N.D., impassable due to accumulating snow, walking proves to be the best way to get around on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, as snow continued to fall in the area. This view shows Thayer Avenue near Mandan Street in Bismarck. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Winter Weather Louisiana Debris is strewn about following severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Keithville, La. A volatile storm ripping across the U.S. spawned tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with more punishing weather Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jake Bleiberg)
Winter Weather Louisiana Debris is piled up following severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Keithville, La. A volatile storm ripping across the U.S. spawned tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with more punishing weather Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jake Bleiberg)
Winter Weather Louisiana People help each other through the rubble after a tornado tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana Vehicles and debris are strewn about after a tornado that tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
CORRECTION Winter Weather Louisiana CORRECTS LAST NAME TO BOVIE NOT BOVIEM - Chelsi Bovie holds her niece's dog that she rescued from her home after a tornado tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana People walk through the rubble after a tornado tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana Residents stand outside destroyed homes from a tornado that tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana Destruction is seen from a tornado that tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana Debris, including twisted sheet metal wrapped around a treen, is strewn about following severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Keithville, La. A volatile storm ripping across the U.S. spawned tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with more punishing weather Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jake Bleiberg)
Winter Weather Rankin County authorities and first responders are shown in this photograph provided to media by Sheriff Bryan Bailey, as they inspect the remains of a Pelahatchie, Miss., poultry farm that was destroyed from an apparent tornado that accompanied destructive storms that ripped across the U.S., spawning tornadoes and additional severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Courtesy of Rankin County Sheriffs Office via AP)
APTOPIX Winter Weather Louisiana Destruction is seen from a tornado that tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Severe Weather Workers shut off water amid destruction after a tornado tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana Destruction is seen from a tornado that tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana Allyson Mitchell walks in the rain after she arrived to help her niece whose home was destroyed from a tornado that tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana A person walks through a heavily damaged home after a tornado tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana A person walks amid rubble after a tornado tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana Trinity Allen, 4, stands in the rain with her grandmother after they came to help friends whose home was destroyed from a tornado that tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Louisiana Debris is piled up following severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Keithville, La. A volatile storm ripping across the U.S. spawned tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with more punishing weather Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jake Bleiberg)
Winter Weather Louisiana A utility worker checks lines following severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Keithville, La. A volatile storm ripping across the U.S. spawned tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with more punishing weather Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jake Bleiberg)
Winter Weather Louisiana An Atmos Energy employee checks on gas lines after a tornado tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather North Dakota Alex Coble clears heavy wet snow from the sidewalk outside his home on Fourth Street in Bismarck, N.D., on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Winter Weather Farm lands outside Ruleville, Miss., are flooded from torrential rains that accompanied destructive storms that ripped across the U.S., spawning tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with additional severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Winter Weather Oklahoma Belinda Penner carries belonging from her cousin's home, destroyed by a tornado, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Wayne, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Winter Weather Texas Antonio Rios, bottom, and Noel Enriquez work to patch the roof and siding of a home after a possible tornado in Grapevine, Texas, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Elías Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Winter Weather A mobile home community in Ruleville, Miss., is flooded from torrential rains that accompanied destructive storms that ripped across the U.S., spawning tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with additional severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
APTOPIX Winter Weather Louisiana Damage is seen along Schoolhouse Road after a tornado moved through area in Killona, La., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Brett Duke/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
Winter Weather Texas A Mustang Elite Car Wash & Lube Center employee picks up debris after a possible tornado on Ira E. Woods Avenue in Grapevine, Texas, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Elías Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Winter Weather A home in Ruleville, Miss., is flooded from torrential rains that accompanied destructive storms that ripped across the U.S., spawning tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with additional severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Winter Weather Louisiana Chelsi Bovie holds her niece's dog that she rescued from her home after a tornado tore through the area in Killona, La., about 30 miles west of New Orleans in St. James Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Winter Weather Texas Storm damage of Bertha Gonzalez's home, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, near Decatur, Texas. Three adults and three children were inside the Gonzalez family home as a possible tornado swept through just after 7 AM. The insurance company came out to access damage and a hotel room was secured for the family through Jan. 27, 2023. (Rebecca Slezak/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Winter Weather Workers look on as crews restore power in Farmerville, La., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, after a destructive storm system caused severe weather in the area. (AP Photo/Stephen Smith)
APTOPIX Winter Weather Louisiana A house and car are seen damaged after a confirmed tornado on Friscoville Avenue in Arabi, La., in St. Bernard Parish, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Winter Weather A mobile home community in Ruleville, Miss., is flooded from torrential rains that accompanied destructive storms that ripped across the U.S., spawning tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with additional severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
APTOPIX Winter Weather Louisiana People survey damage following a tornado at the Iberia Medical Center, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in New Iberia, La. (Leslie Westbrook/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
Winter Weather A mobile home community in Ruleville, Miss., is flooded from torrential rains that accompanied destructive storms that ripped across the U.S., spawning tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with additional severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Winter Weather Cases of water and other supplies are available at the Farmerville Recreation Center in Farmerville, La., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, after a destructive storm system caused severe weather in the area. (AP Photo/Stephen Smith)
Winter Weather Louisiana A tree is uprooted following severe weather Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Keithville, La. A volatile storm ripping across the U.S. spawned tornadoes that killed a young boy and his mother in Louisiana, smashed mobile homes and chicken houses in Mississippi and threatened neighboring Southern states with more punishing weather Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jake Bleiberg)
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KEITHVILLE, La. (AP) — A vast and volatile storm system ripping across the U.S. killed at least three people in Louisiana, spinning up tornadoes that battered the state from north to south, including the New Orleans area where memories of 2021’s Hurricane Ida and a tornado in March linger.

Elsewhere, the huge system hurled blizzard-like conditions at the Great Plains.

Several injuries were reported around Louisiana by authorities, and more than 40,000 power outages statewide as of Wednesday night.

The punishing storms barreled eastward Wednesday after killing a mother and son in the northwestern part of the state a day earlier. The system spun off a suspected tornado that killed a woman Wednesday in southeast Louisiana’s St. Charles Parish and another that pummeled parts of New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes — including areas badly damaged by a March tornado.

A tornado struck New Iberia, Louisiana, slightly injuring five people and smashing out windows of a multistory building at Iberia Medical Center, the hospital said. As night drew on, tornado threats eased in Mississippi, although some counties in Florida and Alabama remained under a severe weather threat.

New Orleans emergency director Collin Arnold said business and residences in the city suffered significant wind damage, largely on the Mississippi River’s west bank. One home collapsed. Four people were injured there, he said, adding, “The last word we had is that they were stable.”

Similar damage was reported nearby.

“Several homes and businesses have suffered catastrophic damage,” the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement from that large suburb west of New Orleans. Among the heavily damaged buildings was the sheriff’s office’s training academy building.

In St. Bernard Parish — where the March twister caused devastation — Sheriff Jimmy Pohlman said the latest tornado damage covered a roughly 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) stretch. Parish President Guy McInnis said the damage was less than in the March tornado though numerous roofs were blown away or damaged.

Authorities in St. Charles Parish, west of New Orleans, said a woman was found dead there after a suspected tornado on Wednesday struck the community of Killona along the Mississippi River, damaging homes. Eight people were taken to hospitals with injuries, they said.

“She was outside the residence, so we don’t know exactly what happened,” St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said of the woman killed. ”There was debris everywhere. She could have been struck. We don’t know for sure. But this was a horrific and a very violent tornado.”

About 280 miles (450 kilometers) away in northern Louisiana, it took hours for authorities to find the bodies of a mother and child missing after a tornado swept away their mobile home Tuesday in Keithville, south of Shreveport.

“You go to search a house and the house isn’t even there, so where do you search?” Gov. John Bel Edwards told reporters, noting the challenge faced by emergency responders as he toured a mile-long (1.6-kilometer) path of destruction in rural Keithville. He had issued an emergency declaration earlier in the day.

The Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office said the body of 8-year-old Nikolus Little was found late Tuesday night in some woods and the body of his mother, Yoshiko A. Smith, 30, under storm debris early Wednesday.

Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Sgt. Casey Jones said the boy’s father had gone for groceries before the storm. “He just went to go shopping for his family, came home and the house was gone,” said Jones.

The storms battered Louisiana from north to south. In Union Parish, near the Arkansas line, Farmerville Mayor John Crow said a tornado Tuesday night badly damaged an apartment complex where 50 families lived, wiping out a neighboring trailer park with about 10 homes. “It happened quick,” Crow said Wednesday, adding about 30 homes also were damaged along nearby Lake D’Arbonne.

A suspected tornado reported Wednesday in New Iberia in southwest Louisiana damaged several buildings of the New Iberia Medical Center, hospital officials said, with five people reporting minor injuries.

In neighboring Mississippi’s Rankin County, a suspected tornado destroyed four large chicken houses, one containing 5,000 roosters, Sheriff Bryan Bailey said. Mobile homes at a park in Sharkey County, Mississppi, were reduced to shredded debris.

The storm began its cross-country journey by dumping heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Damage followed Tuesday when thunderstorms from the storm swept through Texas. At least five people were injured In the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, police spokesperson Amanda McNew said.

Forecasters now expect the vast system to hobble the upper Midwest with ice, rain and snow for days, and also move into the central Appalachians and Northeast. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Wednesday night through Friday afternoon, depending on the timing of the storm. Residents from West Virginia to Vermont were told to watch for a possible significant mix of snow, ice and sleet.

“This system is notable for the fact that it’s going impact areas all the way from California to eventually the Northeast,” said meteorologist Frank Pereira with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.

In the Black Hills of western South Dakota, snow piled up to nearly 2 feet (60 centimeters) in some s(pts. “They shovel for hours on end,” said Vicki Weekly, who manages a historic hotel in the tourist and gambling city of Deadwood. where some visitors still ventured out to the casinos.

A roughly 320-mile (520-kilometer) span of Interstate 90 in South Dakota was closed Wednesday, and state officials warned drivers there to stay off most highways.

In northern Minnesota, wet, heavy snow left tree limbs sagging and made driving treacherous Wednesday. Weather Service meteorologist Ketzel Levens in Duluth said 6 to 8 inches (15-20 centimeters) of snow had accumulated in some areas.

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McGill reported from New Orleans. Associated Press writers Stephen Groves in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jamie Stengle in Dallas; Ken Miller in Oklahoma City; Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas; Julie Walker in New York; Sam Metz in Salt Lake City; Trisha Ahmed in Minneapolis; Jesse Bedayn in Denver; Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska; and Robert Jablon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Keithville.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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