Deadly Tornadoes Rip Through Texas and Louisiana with up to 125 mph winds: Major Storms Now Threatens Millions in the North and on the East Coast After Walloping the West


December 14, 2022

At least 10 million people are now under winter-weather watches or advisories as the great storm pushed northwards on Wednesday, leaving a trail of destruction.



  • Mother and son are found dead near their home after tornado ripped through Louisiana and at least five other twisters were reported across Texas
  • The northeast of the country, meanwhile, is preparing for blizzard conditions
  • At least 10 million people across the United States are now under winter-weather watches or advisories as the storm continues to push northwards


Motorist turns around to escape tornado in Grapevine, Texas.


A mother and her young son have died after a after a tornado ripped through Louisiana on Tuesday, as a destructive winter storm continued to march across the United States delivering blizzard-like conditions to the Great Plains.

At least 10 million people are now under winter-weather watches or advisories as the great storm pushed northwards on Wednesday, leaving a trail of destruction.

The storm set off at least five tornadoes in Texas on Tuesday alone, though experts suspect there may have been even more that have not yet been confirmed.

And Louisiana's Caddo Parish Sheriff reported late Tuesday night that multiple mobile homes were destroyed in the area leaving the one boy and his mother dead. Officials found the boy's body half a mile from their destroyed home, while his mother was found one street over under debris.

As the storm continued into the early hours of Wednesday morning:

  • The severe weather threat continued into Wednesday for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, according to the Storm Prediction Center
  • Blizzard warnings stretched from Montana into western Nebraska and Colorado
  • Five tornadoes were confirmed across north Texas as of Tuesday afternoon
  • Several people were injured in suburbs north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area
  • Over 1,000 flights into and out airports were delayed, more than 100 canceled
  • In Utah, 22 people were injured when a bus was topped over on Monday morning



'It's really a sad, sad situation. And it's one of the most unusual things I have ever seen,' Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator told KSLA. He noted that the child's body was found half mile away from where the house used to be, before it was destroyed.

A second body, that of the boy's mother, was found a street away from her home at around 2.30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office said.

Prator had earlier said that authorities were searching through the night to find the child's mother, after the tornado hit Pecan Farms, Louisiana, about 10 miles from Shreveport. Another person was injured in the tornado, and was taken to hospital.

The Caddo Parish Sheriffs Office said Tuesday: 'A young boy was found deceased in a wooded area of Pecan Farms where his home was destroyed.

'Search efforts for his mother will continue by many first responders and search teams. One more injury was reported after an adult male was transported to a local hospital. The extent of injuries is unknown.'

In a later update on Wednesday, the office said: 'December 14th, at 2:27 a.m. the missing mother was found deceased one street over from where her home was destroyed in the Pecan Farms area of Keithville, LA. 

'She was located under debris caused by a tornado. First responders will continue to search the area for unknown victims. No one else has been reported missing as a result of the storm.'

Deputies are now continuing to go house-to-house to check on the welfare of the parish's residents, where even a local forest was mowed down as the tornadoes ripped through the neighborhood.


Satellite image of the storm as it moves across the country.


Meanwhile in Texas, five tornadoes were confirmed across the north of the state as of Tuesday afternoon based on video and eyewitness reports, but potentially a dozen may have occurred, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, Texas, reported.

Dozens of homes and businesses were damaged by the line of thunderstorms, and several people were injured in the suburbs and counties stretching north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. More than 1,000 flights into and out of area airports were delayed, and over 100 were canceled, according to the tracking service FlightAware.

Three of the Texas twisters were reported in Tarrant County, according to the National Weather Service center in Fort Worth.

The strongest was clocked at having an EF-1 rating, which means it sustained wind gusts of 86 to 110mph for at least three seconds straight.

The city of Grapevine, near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, also reported an EF-2 tornado with wind gusts of 125mph that left up to five people injured and damaged businesses including a local mall, a Sam's Clubs and a Walmart.


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A possible tornado blew the roof off the city's service center - a municipal facility - and left pieces of the roof hanging from powerlines, said Trent Kelley, deputy director of Grapevine Parks and Recreation.

It was also trash day, so the storm picked up and scattered garbage all over, he said.

Photos sent by the city showed downed power lines on rain-soaked streets, as well as toppled trees, damaged buildings and a semitrailer that appeared to have been tossed around a parking lot.

Gas stations were also destroyed, and drivers on one road were forced into a single lane due to the downed trees and blocked parts of the road.

A smaller tornado was also reported just west of the city of Paris.

Officials will survey the damage in those areas on Wednesday.

But, based on radar and damage reports, the National Weather Service says it expects there could have been as many as 12 tornadoes that have not yet been confirmed in the area.

Videos posted online showed the extent of the wind gusts as debris lifted into the air and the skies darkened in the middle of the day.

Authorities say one person was injured when the high winds overturned their car, while the other — who was also in a vehicle at the time — was injured by flying debris in Wise County. They noted that one of the individuals was brought to a local hospital, but they did not specify which one.

The high winds also damaged trees and homes in Callisburg, north of Dallas, blew over tractor-trailers near Millsap and Weatherford and damaged barns near Jacksboro.

In Wayne, Oklahoma, a confirmed EF-2 tornado knocked out power and damaged homes, outbuildings and barns.

The homes there were seen flattened with their roofs torn off and trees snapped like twigs after the twister remained on the ground for at least three miles with wind gusts of up to 125mph. 


At least five tornadoes have been reported in Texas, though experts say there could be up to 12 that have not yet been confirmed.


The severe weather threat continued into Wednesday for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Blizzard warnings stretched from Montana into western Nebraska and Colorado, and the National Weather Service said as much as 2 feet of snow was possible in some areas of western South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska. Winds of more than 50 mph at times will make it impossible to see outdoors in Nebraska, officials said.

'There's essentially no one traveling right now,' said Justin McCallum, a manager at the Flying J truck stop at Ogallala, Nebraska.

Forecasters expect the storm system to hobble the upper Midwest with ice, rain and snow for days, as well as move into the Northeast and central Appalachians.

Residents from West Virginia to Vermont were told to watch out for a possible significant mix of snow, ice and sleet, and the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Wednesday night through Friday afternoon, depending on the timing of the storm.

In Nebraska, a 'one-in-five-year' storm worked its way through the state on Tuesday, and is expected to linger in the area through the end of the week, National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Taylor told CNN.

And in Sidney, Nebraska, CNN reports, winds whipped at 53mph, leaving visibility there reduced to just a quarter of a mile. 

Blizzard warnings are now in place throughout the state, the NWS posted online, with the state's Department of Transportation saying that several roadways are closed — including all of the ones leading from Nebraska into Colorado.

They extended Tuesday from parts of Montana and Wyoming into northeast Colorado, western Nebraska and South Dakota.

Under a blizzard warning, there are at least three hours of sustained winds or frequent gusts at 35mh or greater during periods of considerable snowfall and poor visibility.

Those kinds of conditions were already reported in the morning and early afternoon hours near the Colorado-Kansas state line, when visibility along I-70 was down to just 100 feet, according to a spokesman for the Kansas Highways Patrol. 

The severe weather in the ranching region of Colorado could also threaten livestock.

Extreme winds can push livestock through fences as they follow the gale's direction, said Jim Santomaso, a northeast representative for the Colorado Cattlemen's Association. 'If this keeps up,' said Santomaso, 'cattle could drift miles.'

A blizzard warning has been issued on Minnesota's north shore, as some areas are expecting up to 24 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 40 mph. And in the south of the state, winds gusting up to 50 mph had reduced visibility.

National Weather Service meteorologist Melissa Dye in the Twin Cities said this is a 'long duration event' with snow, ice and rain through Friday night. Minnesota was expecting a lull Wednesday, followed by a second round of snow.

The same weather system dumped heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada and western U.S. in recent days.

Parts of Wyoming have also already reported snow accumulations between one to two feet, with the state's Department of Transportation saying the snow is impeding roadways. 'Not a single green stretch of road in the state,' the department said in a Facebook post Tuesday.

'Strong winds, blowing snow, whiteout conditions and slick spots are impacting routes statewide (and in some neighboring states!'

The department advised drivers to be aware of the road conditions, noting that many streets across the state are closed due to crashes and other winter conditions.



The storm system is now threatening to create even more damage in the south and blizzard conditions in the north.

In the central and northern Plains and upper Midwest, CNN reports, heavy, blowing snow and/or freezing rain into Thursday could halt travel and threaten power outages.

Meteorologists say snowfall through Wednesday morning could reach up to 10 to 18 inches in the central and northern Plains and Upper Midwest.

Areas in western South Dakota, eastern Wyoming and northwest Nebraska, though, could get 24 inches of snow with winds strong enough to knock down tree limbs and cause power outages.

Parts of eastern South Dakota are also under an ice storm warning, with meteorologists there predicting they could see up to two-tenths an inch of ice.

That wintry precipitation 'will begin to spread eastward over the Upper Great Lakes late Tuesday and Wednesday, and into the northeast late Wednesday,' the state's Department of Transportation has warned.

A tornado watch also remains in place for northeast Louisiana, southwest Arkansas and western Mississippi until 2am CST. It covers more than 1.5 million people in cities including Shreveport and Alexandria, Louisiana.

That area is seeing an alert for an enhanced risk of severe weather, while a zone of slight risk stretched into eastern Texas and southern Oklahoma to Arkansas and much of Louisiana. 


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