Ohio busts snowfall record as winter storm moves north

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Texas hit by extreme weather as storms sweep the US

Millions of Americans remain under a winter storm watch as a powerful winter storm pushes north east, leaving heavy snow, flash floods and severe thunderstorms in its wake.

The National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings on Wednesday, as the storm moved across north-west Florida and southern Georgia.

It comes a day after a tornado ripped through Texas, causing severe destruction along its route.

There have been no reported deaths.

Dayton, Ohio, broke a 108-year-old record for snowfall after recording 5in (12cm) of snow Wednesday, according to the NWS. The previous record of 4.9in was set in 1915.

Snowfall from Texas to Maine is expected to reach between 4 and 8in, according to NWS, while northern New England and surrounding areas may see eight to 12in, possibly resulting in dangerous travelling conditions in the area.

More than 120,000 homes and businesses in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas were without power as of Wednesday evening, according to PowerOutage.us. Chicago's Midway International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport accounted for most of the nation's flight cancellations.

Wednesday's storms are a continuation of low-pressure systems that developed off the coasts of Texas and Florida that have started to move north, said Rachel Cobb, a meteorologist with the NWS.

"It's pulling a lot of energy and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and that's what started the storms yesterday," Ms Cobb told the BBC.

"And now as it tracks north and north east, it's meeting the cold air and we're seeing the heavy snow, one to two inches an hour."

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The tornado caused severe destruction in parts of Texas

The biggest concerns are power outages from the Midwest to New England, she said, as a result of the heavy snow and high winds.

Flash flooding and thunderstorms remain a possibility in parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama.

Meanwhile, residents of parts of Texas are still clearing debris from the tornado that struck on Tuesday.

"In my 25 years here, this is probably the worst damage I've seen," Josh Bruegger, a police chief in Pasadena, Texas, told reporters.

In Pasadena, 15 miles (24 km) south-east of Houston, roads were blocked by uprooted poles and downed power lines and "several commercial trucks were overturned", the Pasadena Police Department tweeted.

Emergency crews who have already begun the process of restoring power and clearing out debris are bracing for the next round of bad weather.

"For the coming days, we're going to have our hands full," Mr Bruegger said.