The cross-country US hurricane causes blizzard warnings, tornadoes and two deaths

Police say a boy and his mother were found dead in Louisiana, where their home was destroyed after being hit by a tornado

The destructive storm marched across the US on Wednesday, whipping up tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, where the deaths of a boy and his mother were reported, bringing blizzard-like conditions to the Great Plains and threatening worse weather further south.

A major storm system is also expected to push more snow and ice into Appalachia and New England. The winter blast dumped more than 2 feet of snow in parts of South Dakota.

In northern Louisiana, the boy was found dead in a wooded area more than half a mile from his home in Keithville, just south of Shreveport, Caddo parish sheriff Steve Prator said. The child's mother was later found dead one street from her home, Prator said.

The child's father reported them missing from their home, which the sheriff said had been destroyed in the storm.

“We couldn't even find the house he described with the address. Everything is gone,” Prator told KSLA, a Shreveport TV station.

In Farmerville, Louisiana, about 90 miles east of Keithville, about 20 people were taken to hospital, some with critical injuries, after a tornado caused major damage to a mobile home and apartment complex, the Union parish sheriff said.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, saying initial reports indicated six possible tornadoes had hit the state in Caddo, Union, Rapides, Madison, East Carroll and Franklin parishes.

"I am saddened to learn of the mother and son who were killed in southwest Caddo parish in one of the many reported tornadoes," Edwards said.

The forecast for Wednesday calls for more severe storms and the possibility of additional tornadoes along the central Gulf coast, including New Orleans and southern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.

A hurricane warning was issued early Wednesday for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, where a mobile home in a park in the Sharkey area was reduced to a pile of rubble. One resident, Leslie Jackson, told WLBT-TV that her home in Mason's trailer park is one of only a few remaining.

Five tornadoes were confirmed crossing north Texas on Tuesday afternoon, based on video and eyewitness reports, but a possible dozen may have occurred, said the National Weather Service (NWS) in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dozens of homes and businesses were damaged in the thunderstorms and several people were injured in suburbs and counties in the northern Dallas-Fort Worth area. More than 1,000 flights have been delayed and more than 100 cancelled, according to tracking service FlightAware.

In Grapevine, a suburb of Dallas, a police spokeswoman, Amanda McNew, reported five confirmed injuries. It's likely the tornado blew off the roof of the city's service center and left pieces of the roof hanging from power lines, said Trent Kelley, deputy director of Grapevine Parks and Recreation.

Photos sent in by the city showed downed power lines in the rain-soaked streets as well as fallen trees, damaged buildings and a semitrailer that appeared to have been tossed around the parking lot.

Forecasters predict the storm system will rock the upper midwest with days of ice, rain and snow, moving into the northeastern and central Appalachians.

"This system is notable for impacting areas from California all the way to the northeast," said Frank Pereira, NWS meteorologist in College Park, Maryland.

A widespread outbreak of cold air is expected to follow later this week, he said, adding: "Nearly every area east of the Rockies will see below normal to well below normal temperatures."

In the Black Hills in western South Dakota, snow piled up to nearly 2 feet in some mountain communities.

"They shoveled for hours," said Vicki Weekly, who runs a historic hotel in the tourist and gambling town of Deadwood, where some diners still wander to go to the casinos.

Interstate 90, which runs across western South Dakota, remains closed and the state department of transportation is warning drivers to stay off the highway in most of the state.

In North Dakota, accumulated snow caused authorities to close Interstate 94 between Bismarck and Fargo, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Wet, heavy snow loosened tree limbs and made driving dangerous in northern Minnesota on Wednesday, and a blizzard warning was issued for the north shore of Lake Superior. An NWS meteorologist, Ketzel Levens in Duluth, said the snow had reached 6 inches to 8 inches in parts.

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