Winter storm blamed for 3 deaths moves east


A fierce winter storm dropped snow and sleet across much of the country on Christmas Day, making travel difficult. The storm is moving east on Wednesday.



A massive winter storm that thrashed across the Midwest on Christmas Day left three people dead and is now moving toward the Atlantic coast. 

High winds from Tuesday's storm knocked over trees, killing a pickup driver near Houston, Texas and a 53-year-old man in north Louisiana, reports NBC. 

According to the Associated Press, a 28-year-old woman was also killed in a crash during heavy snow near Fairview, Oklahoma.

The storm spread blizzard conditions across several states and 34 tornadoes were reported in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama during the outbreak Tuesday, the National Weather Service told the AP.

Reuters reported Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency.

The worst of the tornadoes struck near Mobile, Alabama on Tuesday afternoon. 

"The people of Alabama are strong," state governor Robert Bentley told NBC. "We will recover together. First responders are doing a tremendous job helping people in areas impacted by the storms, and those efforts will continue." 

Power outages have been reported across the country as the storm spreads east. In Arkansas, more than 189,000 customers were without electricity on Wednesday.

Blizzard and winter storm warnings stretched from Arkansas up the Ohio River to New York and on to Maine, snarling Christmas travel along the East Coast, according to the AP. 

The heavy snow is making road travel dangerous across much of the country. In Oklahoma, icy conditions were blamed for a 21-vehicle pileup.

Flight tracker reported hundreds of flights around the the country were grounded as of Wednesday morning.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport spokesperson Cynthia Vega said approximately 1,000 people slept at the airport after after some 400 flights were canceled Tuesday, Reuters reported.