Today: April 20, 2024
Today: April 20, 2024

Deadly severe weather roars through several states, spawning potential tornadoes

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AP
BRUCE SHIPKOWSKI
April 02, 2024

Thousands of homes and businesses were without power Tuesday as severe weather roared through several states, causing at least one death and spawning possible tornados. Meanwhile, a spring snowstorm was expected to drop more than a foot of snow in Wisconsin.

One of the hardest-hit areas was northeastern Oklahoma, where a strong weather system containing heavy rains produced three suspected tornadoes. The storms were also blamed for the death of a 46-year-old homeless woman in Tulsa who died inside a drainage pipe, police said.

Tulsa Fire Department spokesperson Andy Little said the woman’s boyfriend told authorities the two had gone to sleep at the entrance of the drainage pipe and were awakened by the flood waters. National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Darby said up to 1.5 inches (3.81 centimeters) of rain fell in Tulsa in about one hour before moving northeastward out of the state.

“It wasn’t a whole lot. But when it came down it was pretty rapid,” Darby said.

In Ohio, firefighters came to the rescue of two people who were trapped under a bridge early Tuesday when the waters of an Ohio river began rising, and forecasters warned more severe weather was headed to the area.

The two people were sleeping under the bridge around 8:45 a.m. when the Scioto River started to rise, the Columbus Fire Department reported. While the pair were never directly in the water, the flooding prevented them from returning to the shore, so a fire department boat was sent to rescue them.

No injuries were reported.

Severe storms also swept through far southwestern Indiana on Tuesday morning, toppling trees and causing power outages, leading several local school districts to cancel the day’s classes. More than 18,000 homes and businesses were without power shortly before noon Tuesday, including in Vanderburgh County, home to Evansville, Indiana’s third-largest city.

Residents in Wisconsin were bracing for a spring snowstorm that forecasters warned could dump more than a foot of snow 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, depending on their local forecast, to avoid travel woes.

The National Weather Service said snowfall totals could range from 4 to 8 inches over central Wisconsin and 8 to 14 inches over eastern Wisconsin, while wind gusts of 30 mph to 50 mph will create very limited visibility and make travel difficult at best. Meteorologist Scott Cultice with the weather service’s Green Bay office said the storm will bring “a very heavy, wet snow” to central and eastern Wisconsin, but is nothing unusual for early April in the state.

“Just three weeks ago we were in the 70s, so that kind of got people thinking spring is right around the corner — and here we’re in April and we’re getting a major snowstorm," Cultice said. “As people say, `That’s springtime in Wisconsin.' ”

______

Associated Press writers Ken Miller in Oklahoma City and Rick Callahan in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

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