Tuesday, March 28

23 people injured after tornadoes touch down in Bell County in Texas

Twelve of those injured were hospitalized, Bell County Judge David Blackburn said, adding that he believes everyone is accounted for.

Two confirmed tornadoes touched down in Bell County, which is the central region on the state, the Storm Prediction Center at the National Weather Service said.

On Tuesday, 911 calls reported a twister around 5:40 p.m. local time, Blackburn said. A tornado crossed the county line from neighboring Williamson County, traveling seven miles on the ground, he added.

The damages ranged from downed powerlines and trees to buildings being flattened, reduced to rubble in many areas, Blackburn said.

“I think it popped up fairly quickly,” Blackburn said. “The extent of damage is significant. At least at this time not to have any report of fatalities is in and of itself amazing.”

Tuesday brought a double-threat storm system that delivered at least eight tornadoes mainly in Texas and Iowa as well as heavy snow to multiple states, including the Dakotas, Montana and Minnesota.

Parts of Dakotas and Montana were under blizzard warnings and forecasters warned of treacherous whiteout conditions on the roads.

Heavy snow shut down more than 500 miles of interstate 94 between Montana and North Dakota.

A mountainous area near Pony, Montana, recorded 47 inches of snow in a 24-hour period, according to the NWS. Many other parts of the state were pounded by more than a foot of snow.

In North Dakota, more than a foot of snow was reported in several locations, including Grand Forks, and Rockford, according to NWS data.

“We do get blizzards in April, but one of this intensity is quite rare,” Jeff Schild, meteorologist for the weather service office in Bismarck, told CNN early Tuesday. “The last one of note for this level of intensity was April 4-7 in 1997.”

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Severe weather threatens 97 million Wednesday

As the system moves eastward, it’s producing a trio of threats — damaging winds, tornadoes and large hail.

More than 97 million people are under some sort of severe weather alerts Wednesday, stretching from Texas and Louisiana up to Missouri and Illinois.

The most significant threats are expected to across Memphis, Tennessee; Evansville, Indiana; Jonesboro and Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Owensboro, Kentucky — where more than 4 million people are under a moderate risk (level 4 of 5). These cities could see strong winds, tornadoes as well as large hail.

Overall, severe thunderstorms could impact a large portion of the lower and mid-Mississippi Valley into the Midwest as well as the lower Ohio Valley, the Storm Prediction Center said.

Elsewhere, parts of Montana, North Dakota and northern Minnesota could also see heavy snow Wednesday. The snow is expected to end Thursday, followed by extremely cold temperatures.

“Overnight lows will drop into the teens in western North Dakota, and with the strong winds, wind chills will be in the single digits above to below zero, quite chilly for mid April,” the Bismarck weather service office said.

On Friday, high temperatures will possibly make it into the 20s, which is about 30 degrees below normal. The region could break low maximum temperature records.

CNN’s Dave Alsup, Robert Shackelford, Amy Simonson, Jennifer Gray, Steve Almasy and Taylor Ward contributed to this report.

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