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May 10, 2015 4:50 PM

From Rockies east, severe weather casts a wide net

The Associated Press

South Dakota was the center of weather extremes Sunday, with a tornado damaging a small town and injuring at least nine people on the eastern side of the state and more than a foot of snow blanketing the Black Hills to the west.

Parts of several Great Plains and Midwest states were in the path of severe weather, including Texas, which saw at least two likely tornadoes. At the same time, a tropical storm came ashore in the Carolinas, and wintry weather affected parts of Colorado.

Tropical Storm Ana made landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Sunday morning and was downgraded to a tropical depression by Sunday afternoon. The storm's maximum sustained winds were at 35 mph, and it was expected to move over eastern North Carolina on Sunday night.

In South Dakota, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said nine people were injured Sunday morning when a tornado tore through the tiny town of Delmont about 90 miles from Sioux Falls. None of the injuries was life threatening and seven of the nine had been treated and released from the hospital, Daugaard said. There were no fatalities.

South Dakota Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Kristi Turman said about 20 buildings were damaged and the town has no water, power or phones. The town was evacuated, authorities said.

"Our house is flat. There is nothing left," said Stephanie Lunder, 34, of Delmont. She was with her husband and four children in the basement when the storm hit. The tornado heavily damaged a church where children attending Sunday school were forced to retreat to the basement, residents said.

In Texas, a likely tornado late Sunday night hit the small city of Van, about 70 miles southeast of Dallas, according to National Weather Service senior meteorologist Eric Martello.

Fire Chief Jeff Hudgens said Van sustained "some significant damage" to "multiple homes" and said agencies were responding to confirmed injuries. The number of people hurt and the extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.

Earlier in the day, another likely tornado ripped roofs off buildings and damaged trees near Denton, about 40 miles northwest of Dallas, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Bradshaw. There were no immediate reports of injuries or fatalities.

The area also experienced torrential rains that led to widespread flash flooding. Authorities in Denton County said Sunday that two groups of people had to be airlifted by helicopters to safety.

About 100 miles west of Fort Worth, people in the sparsely populated ranching and farming community of Cisco were left to clean up from Saturday's tornado that left one person dead and another in critical condition. Cisco Fire Department spokesman Phillip Truitt said the two people were near each other.

The National Weather Service said that tornado was rated an EF-3, with winds ranging from 136 to 165 mph. At least six buildings were damaged south of Cisco, as well as six others near Lake Leon, Truitt said.

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

Forecasters issued tornado watches through Sunday evening for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Missouri.

Farther north, a late-season snow fell in parts of the Rockies, western Nebraska and western South Dakota.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Carstens said between 10 to 18 inches of snow was on the ground Sunday morning in the Black Hills of South Dakota and totals could reach 20-24 inches by the time the system moves out. Rapid City, South Dakota, had 8-11 inches, accompanied by 20-30 mph winds.

Nearly 18 inches of snow fell in southern Colorado, a state that also saw hail, flooding and tornado warnings over the weekend.


Associated Press writers Regina Garcia Cano in Delmont, South Dakota; Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis; and Nomaan Merchant and Jamie Stengle in Dallas contributed to this report.


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