The Latest: Heavy rains swamp parts of Arkansas

AP News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2015 4:20 PM
The Latest: Heavy rains swamp parts of Arkansas

DENVER (AP) — The latest on the powerful storm leaving the Rockies and moving into the Midwest and South (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

Flash floods triggered by strong thunderstorms have swamped roads in central Arkansas.

Prolonging the threat, rain could fall at a rate of 2 inches per hour in some locations in eastern Arkansas, western Mississippi and northern Louisiana.

Tornado watches are in effect for eastern Arkansas, most of Louisiana and western Mississippi as the system moves east.

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1:15 p.m.

Reports of property damage are emerging as powerful storms move through Arkansas.

The Storm Prediction Center says downed trees were reported in southwest Arkansas, including along Interstate 30 near Hope in Hempstead County.

Damage was also reported to cabins on Lake Hamilton Drive in Garland County, where more than 11,000 Entergy customers were without power.

The Sentinel-Record newspaper reports that some buildings were damaged, including City Hall, by powerful winds.

The storm dumped inches of snow on parts of Colorado and led to tornadoes in Texas on Monday before pushing east into Arkansas.

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12:05 p.m.

Dozens of semi-trailers and cars are stranded because of the closure of Interstate 70 east of Denver.

The vehicles lined up along the interstate and a nearby frontage road as strong winds blew snow across the highway on Tuesday.

Truck driver Thomas Meyer was bound for Liberal, Kansas, and said he didn't realize they were shutting the roads down.

Truck driver Fernando Rendell said was headed to Kansas City but stopped after seeing two trucks in the ditch along the slick interstate.

Several inches of snow have fallen in the plains of eastern Colorado, and up to 15 inches of snow is expected in western Kansas.

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9:30 a.m.

Much of Colorado's main east-west highway is closed because of blizzard conditions on the state's Eastern Plains.

Eastbound lanes of a 160-mile stretch of Interstate 70 were closed from suburban Denver to Burlington, not far from the Kansas border, on Tuesday morning.

While Denver only got light snow, the snow has been heavier to the east and south of the city. Interstate 25 south of Denver was closed during the morning rush hour after dozens of vehicles were stranded there, but it later reopened.

In Texas, at least five tornadoes touched down in the Panhandle, including one that hit a Halliburton chemical facility near Pampa. The company says it was recently closed and no chemicals or workers were there at the time.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch until late Tuesday afternoon for areas including the state's largest city, Houston. Forecasters say a small tornado touched down before dawn Tuesday in North Texas, in the Keller area. Several homes were damaged but nobody was hurt.

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8:30 a.m.

Powerful winds continue to lash Southern California, toppling trees and knocking down power lines.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning until 2 p.m. Tuesday for the San Gabriel Mountains, where gusts could reach 70 mph.

Winds in the greater Los Angeles area are generally between 25 and 40 mph. Temperatures in the 60s and 70s are expected.

Downed trees blocked roads overnight and at least 10,000 customers remain without electricity across Los Angeles County.

Forecasters say the winds will die down by the afternoon ahead of a warming trend.

A cold front that brought ice and snow to mountain areas and whipped up a tornado near Modesto moved through Southern California on Monday before heading east into the Rockies.

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7 a.m.

Heavy snow and strong winds have shut down highways east and south of Denver and are delaying flights, but the city itself has only gotten some light snow.

A stretch of Interstate 25 south of Denver near Castle Rock was closed Tuesday morning because there were so many stranded vehicles, including two jack-knifed semi-trailers. Heavy snow and whiteout conditions have also shut down a nearly 80-mile stretch of Interstate 70 and Interstate 25 near the New Mexico border.

Denver International Airport is warning passengers that arriving flights could be delayed by up to 90 minutes because federal officials are slowing down traffic there to prevent longer delays. That could also cause some late departures.