‘Bomb Cyclone’ Bringing Deadly Weather to Central U.S.

The quickly rising floods evacuated people from their homes, washed out roads in communities, and left farmers anxious all the water would drown livestock.

"I grew up in New Orleans so I've seen a hurricane but his is a snow-ricane", one stranded passenger said.

In Sioux Falls, S.D., the eponymous falls were raging Wednesday and Thursday, and floodwaters forced dozens of road closures. Roads and state highways are closed to avoid more accidents. The flooding was the worst in almost a decade in places, though the situation was expected to improve quickly in many places over the weekend, according to Mike Gillispie, National Weather Service hydrologist in Sioux Falls.

Lennox, South Dakota, Mayor Tracy West says there's a lot of water around and "it's got to find a way to get out of here".

The "bomb cyclone" late winter storm is swirling eastwards after wreaking havoc in western states. As of March 12, the storm has recorded a 78-mph wind gust in Dallas and an unofficial record for lowest pressure at 975 millibars in Pueblo, Colorado.

There were no remaining blizzard warnings Friday, Oravec said.

The system was moving out of the central Plains on Thursday, but National Weather Service meteorologist Peter Rogers said flooding is likely to persist into the weekend in parts of South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, with deeply frozen ground preventing rain and snowmelt from soaking into the soil.

The window-rattling storm brought blizzards, floods and tornadoes, stretching from the northern Rocky Mountains to Texas and beyond.

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In the eyes of Greg Carbin, chief of Forecast Operations for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "this is a very epic cyclone", which could develop into the worst storm of its type in 35 or 40 years. Approximately 175,000 people have been left without power as the storm barrels through.

It was caused by a combination of the jet stream and normal conditions in the wind shadow of the Rockies. Air rushed into the low-pressure area and then rose into the atmosphere, causing severe weather.

The system continues to move east Friday, but aside from an area of marginal severe risk arund coastal Virginia and North Carolina, most storms it generates are expected to be non-severe.

The Colorado State Patrol said one of its troopers, 52-year-old Corporal Daniel Groves, was killed northeast of Denver when a auto veered out of control and struck him as he was helping the victims of another vehicle accident.

The Colorado National Guard announced it had rescued 93 people and two dogs after inspecting about 250 vehicles.

Because of the rapid drop of pressure associated with a bomb cyclone, tornado watches have been issued in parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

A tornado in New Mexico ripped roofs from buildings in the small town of Dexter, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of Albuquerque. No deaths or injuries have been reported as yet. "There's only been three or four tornadoes reported here". As of late Wednesday night, "we still had 1,100 people stranded who had been there anywhere from an hour to seven hours", Kirby said.

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