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'Bomb Cyclone' Pushes East Across the U.S., Flood Risks Remain

16 March 2019

The storm left quickly rising floods in its wake in parts of eastern Nebraska and Iowa that saw residents evacuated from their homes, roads washed out in communities, and farmers anxious all the water would drown livestock. It will send rain and snow into Minnesota and IL on Friday. Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Wisconsin (bottom left), and Iowa are already drenched in massive floods. The U.S. National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for northeastern Colorado, southeastern Wyoming, western Nebraska and parts of the Dakotas - where travel was almost brought to a halt due to the weather conditions. On the roads, parts of Interstates 25 and 70 were shutdown by crashes, stranding hundreds of drivers. Residents of communities that had to evacuate because of flooding will be cleaning up the damage for some time.

Numerous homes in Freeman's neighborhood in Fremont, Nebraska, were inundated by the water that flowed in from the Platte River.

Evacuations also occurred in several other eastern Nebraska communities and in some areas of western Iowa.

Parts of seven states were under blizzard warnings, and 20 states were under some level of high wind alert, Carbin said. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an emergency disaster proclamation Thursday and activated the state emergency operations center. The missing motorist had not been found by late Thursday.

A general view of the blizzard in Greeley Colorado
'Bomb Cyclone' Pushes East Across the U.S., Flood Risks Remain

"I grew up in New Orleans so I've seen a hurricane but his is a snow-ricane", one stranded passenger said. The Red Cross opened shelters in Sioux Falls and Yankton.

The National Weather Service reports several cities in eastern South Dakota and northwestern Iowa set rainfall records for the date Wednesday.

The National Weather Service also predicted river flooding from rain and snowmelt in parts of Iowa, which could last into the weekend.

The "bomb cyclone" late winter storm is swirling eastwards after wreaking havoc in western states. The weather service recorded a 60 miles per hour (97 kph) wind gust at Indianapolis International Airport.

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"The intensity of this storm is due to a merging of two powerful jet stream disturbances that created a strong area of low pressure next to an area of high pressure that is feeding mild air and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico northward", Aggarwal said.

Meteorologists call the rapid change in pressure a "bomb cyclone" or "bombogenesis".

The window-rattling storm brought blizzards, floods and a tornado across more than 25 states Wednesday, stretching from the northern Rocky Mountains to Texas and beyond.

About 175,000 people are without power, a lot of them in Colorado and Texas.

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The storm also contributed to the death of Corporal Daniel Groves, a Colorado State Patrol officer who was hit and killed by a vehicle as he helped another driver who had slid off Interstate 76 near Denver.

The Colorado National Guard announced it had rescued 93 people and two dogs after inspecting about 250 vehicles. Thankfully no injuries were reported. "There's only been three or four tornadoes reported here".

"It is a tragic reminder that people's lives are at stake", said Shoshana Lew, head of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

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'Bomb Cyclone' Pushes East Across the U.S., Flood Risks Remain