A sprawling winter storm was expected to unleash ice, snow and strong winds across the Northeast on Thursday after spawning dozens of tornadoes that claimed the lives of three people as it left behind a trail of destruction in the South.
A woman was killed when a tornado destroyed her house west of New Orleans, while a mother and her son lost their lives when a twister ripped through a rural town in northwest Louisiana, state officials said.
The two tornados were part of a swarm of 33 twisters reported on Wednesday in Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Alabama, where they left destroyed or damaged homes and businesses, downed power lines and piles of debris in their wake.
More than 20 people suffered injuries in Farmerville, Louisiana, when a tornado hit an apartment complex and a mobile home park, a police spokesperson told CNN.
The relentless storm was not finished on Thursday. It was threatening parts of the East Coast – from western North Carolina up through Pennsylvania and into New England – with up to 12 inches (30 cm) of snow and winds of more than 35 miles (56 km) per hour, the National Weather Service said in its forecast.
Additionally, the storm was forecast to unleash freezing rains across the region, glazing roadways with ice and prompting transportation officials to urge motorists to stay off the roads.