A mother and her eight-year-old son are among at least three people who have died as a result of a destructive storm system that sparked tornadoes that swept across the United States.
To the north, it brought blizzard-like conditions to the Great Plains and was expected to push more snow and ice into Appalachia and New England.
The winter blast dumped more than 2 feet of snow in parts of South Dakota.
To the south, it produced a series of tornadoes.
Outside New Orleans, eight people were taken to hospitals and a woman was found dead after a suspected tornado struck the community of Killona along the Mississippi River, damaging homes and tossing debris.
Sheriff Greg Champagne said, “There was debris everywhere. This was a horrible, very violent tornado.”
And about 280 miles (450 kilometers) away in northern Louisiana, 911 services found the bodies of a mother and eight-year-old boy who were reported missing after another tornado swept over their mobile home.
A steady stream of tornado warnings were issued Wednesday across large portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
One, which landed in southwest Louisiana, damaged several buildings on a hospital campus, another, in nearby Mississippi, destroyed four large chicken coops, one containing 5,000 roosters.
Mobile homes in a nearby park have been reduced to piles of shredded debris.
Dozens of homes and businesses were also destroyed in Texas.
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At least five people were injured in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, police said. A possible tornado blew off the roof of the city’s municipal service center, leaving debris dangling from power lines.
The forecast was for more severe storms with additional tornadoes in an area of the Gulf Coast region populated by nearly three million people from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama.
More damaging weather conditions have also been predicted for the Florida Panhandle.
Freezing weather from the massive storm was expected to hit the United States coast-to-coast at some point, with ice and snow heading towards the eastern United States over the next few days.
Frank Pereira, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, said, “This system is notable in that it will impact areas from California all the way to the Northeast.”