Some Leap Year babies woke up Wednesday to find their uncommon birthday plagued by school closings, National Weather Service snow alerts and even a tornado.
Tornado-like storms swept through Nebraska and Missouri and touched down in Kansas, hitting hardest the entertainment town of Branson, Mo., known for its highway music theaters. The storms killed at least one person in Kansas, and three in nearby Illinois, local TV station KFVS12 reported. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has issued a disaster declaration for the area. Schools have been closed in Branson.
Branson’s Mayor, Reanne Presley, tweeted updates Wednesday on the city’s relief efforts after the storm:
Taney cty officials & Sheriff Russell are amazing w all types of assistance. Say a prayer of thanks for their long hours & caring #Branson— Mayor Presley (@bransonmayor) February 29, 2012
Please help with rumor control. No known fatalities in #Branson— Mayor Presley (@bransonmayor) February 29, 2012
Last May, a massive tornado hit the town of Joplin, about 100 miles from Branson, leaving more than 89 people dead. Branson was last hit by a tornado in December 2010.
Michigan, Connecticut and Massachusetts on Wednesday were spared from tornados but visited by snowy weather — a shock after this winter’s consistently warm temperatures. The National Weather Service issued overnight advisories of snow and rain in all three states, warning of an ice coating followed by freezing rain in Michigan, a “bit of snow” followed by “lots of rain” in Connecticut, and up to 10 inches of snow in Eastern Massachusetts.
The National Weather Service’s U.S. map Wednesday was covered by colorful wintry and storm warnings: