Powerful storm system blasts western U.S., killing 8

A powerful storm system that has caused hundreds of accidents across the western United States has marched eastward with predictions of widespread snow, freezing temperatures and gusty winds.

The fierce weather has caused at least eight deaths and prompted advisories Saturday afternoon in New Mexico and Texas.

As thick, gray clouds covered the Southwest, forecasters said the storm would sweep across the South and toward the Atlantic coast this week, causing problems for holiday travelers.

Joe Harris, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the "Nordic outbreak" will "produce a mixed bag of wily weather that will end up impacting much of the nation."

In New Mexico, authorities and residents braced for the second hit of a one-two punch that had already blanketed parts of the state with snow and freezing rain and caused a rollover accident that killed a 4-year-old girl in the eastern part of the state. Three storm-related deaths were reported Saturday in a crash in the Texas Panhandle involving nearly a dozen vehicles. In California, where the storm system hit first, prompting flooding and water rescues in recent days, three deaths have been linked to the storms since Thursday. In Arizona, firefighters recovered the body of a man who was swept away by high waters Friday in the Santa Cruz River in the southern part of the state.

Samantha Hernandez scrapes ice off windows after Kenneth Fields sprays them with a mix of vinegar and water on Saturday in Odessa, Texas. The fierce weather has caused at least eight deaths and prompted advisories Saturday afternoon in New Mexico and Texas. Holiday travel will be affected in the South.

Associated Press

Samantha Hernandez scrapes ice off windows after Kenneth Fields sprays them with a mix of vinegar and water on Saturday in Odessa, Texas. The fierce weather has caused at least eight deaths and prompted advisories Saturday afternoon in New Mexico and Texas. Holiday travel will be affected in the South.

Powerful storm system blasts western U.S., killing 8 11/23/13 [Last modified: Sunday, November 24, 2013 2:16am]

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