Twin weather systems unleash storms across the country

AP News
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Posted: May 10, 2015 5:39 PM
Twin weather systems unleash storms across the country

DENVER (AP) — Tornadoes skipped across the Midwest, days of rain caused rivers to overflow in the West, and Tropical Storm Ana made landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Sunday before being downgraded to a tropical depression.

It was another day of wild weather from Texas to the Carolinas, following storms on Saturday that left a trail of snow, hail, flooding, tornadoes and power outages.

In Colorado, an ambulance was swept away by rushing water, but five people managed to get out the back before the ambulance became submerged in about six feet of water.

The storms are being blamed for at least one death. One person was killed Saturday night and another left in critical condition after a tornado hit Cisco, Texas, a rural farming and ranch area about 100 miles west of Fort Worth. The National Weather Service rated the tornado as an EF-3, with winds ranging from 136 to 165 mph.

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MIDWEST TORNADOES

Residents of Delmont were being asked to leave for safety reasons on Sunday after a tornado struck the small South Dakota town. About 20 buildings were damaged and the town had no water, power or phone service, South Dakota Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Kristi Turman said. There were no serious injuries.

The National Weather Service said a likely tornado caused damage near the North Texas town of Denton.

Meteorologist Tom Bradshaw said roofs were ripped off of buildings and trees were damaged. Authorities said as the rains continued, they performed multiple water rescues from streets and homes in the nearby town of Krum.

Two tornados were spotted in Colorado on Saturday, one south of Ellicott east of Colorado Springs and another in Lincoln County in northeast Colorado. Golf-ball size hail fell east of Pueblo.

Tornado watches were issued Sunday for central and north Texas, central Oklahoma, western Arkansas, western Iowa, eastern Nebraska, central Missouri and parts of Minnesota and South Dakota.

A strong line of storms moved through the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Sunday morning, forcing significant delays and a total of 100 flight cancellations at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport.

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COLORADO FLOODING

Flooding on Sunday followed heavy rains and snow during the past week in Colorado.

In northeastern Colorado, an ambulance transferring a patient was swept off a Morgan County road by swift-moving water about 5 a.m. Sunday.

The ambulance was swept about 100 yards down the normally-dry Antelope Creek, turned 180-degrees and became caught on the stream bank just long enough for five people including the crew and patient to get out of the rear of the ambulance without injury, Firefighter Travis Bailey of the Wiggins Rural Fire Protection District said.

The ambulance, however, didn't make it. "It's now sitting in about six feet of water. It's marooned. You can only see the top of it," he said.

Major flood warnings were issued Sunday for the South Platte River in parts of Weld, Morgan, Washington and Logan counties. Forecasters urged people to be prepared to evacuate, but no evacuations were ordered.

On Saturday, the spring storm brought snow, hail, power outages, tornado warnings and flooding across the state. Graduates at the University of Colorado were undeterred, however, and used the football field that was being used for the graduation ceremony for slipping and sliding.

For Monday, forecasters issued a frost advisory on the eastern Plains.

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SUBTROPICAL STORM

Tropical Storm Ana lost the last of its strength and was downgraded to a depression as it created wet and windy conditions along the coasts of North and South Carolina.

By Sunday afternoon, the storm had been downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The storm's maximum sustained winds were 35 mph.

Ana is expected to move north on Sunday, turn to the northeast and pick up speed, forecasters said.

In Southport, North Carolina, Shirley Haithcox said a few limbs were down and that the Cape Fear River was choppy because of the winds. "I guess you could say it's more of a nuisance because it's just so wet. So far, it hasn't damaged anything," Haithcox said.