A powerful snowstorm spawned tornadoes in four states last night, killing at least two people and injuring at least 60.
Twisters were reported in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi. The most destructive one was reported in West Memphis, Ark., where state police said two people died and extensive property damage occurred.
"I lost count at 60 patients in the emergency room," said Myrna Clark, supervisor of admissions at Crittenden Memorial Hospital there. ". . . They've come in bloody, lot of fractures."
Earlier the snowstorm closed schools across the Plains after stranding hundreds of travelers in the Southwest, dropping as much as 30 inches of snow and nearly doubling the one-day snowfall record of 8.8 inches in El Paso.
At least eight deaths were blamed on the massive storm front, which built over the southwest and raced northeast across the Plains.
The Kansas City, Mo., area was expected to be the "bulls-eye" for the storm, but by late Monday only eight inches had fallen there.
A Northwest Airlines commuter plane, carrying eight people, crash-landed at Joplin Regional Airport in Missouri during snowfall. Four people, including the pilot, were injured, but police officials said none of the injuries appeared serious.
The storm was expected to extend into the upper Midwest during the night and warnings of more than six inches of snow were posted for Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, the National Weather Service said.