WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Dec 26 (Reuters) - The severe winter
weather that hit parts of the central and southern United States
on Christmas Day moved eastward on Wednesday, with forecasters
predicting heavy snow in the Ohio Valley and possible tornadoes
in the coastal Carolinas.
The National Weather Service issued blizzard and winter
storm warnings in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, as well as much of
the Northeast, and warned motorists of "treacherous" driving
conditions in those areas.
At airports across the Northeast, holiday travelers braced
for flight delays. Some flights headed for Newark Liberty
International Airport in New Jersey were experiencing delays of
more than an hour on Wednesday because of the inclement weather.
The NWS said more than six inches of snow might fall in
those regions, while the area from western New York up into
central Maine could get from 12 to 18 inches.
As of Wednesday morning, Bloomington, Indiana, already had
nearly a foot of snow and Indianapolis had about seven inches,
according to AccuWeather.com.
Severe thunderstorms and widespread rain were expected from
southeast Virginia to Florida, with the eastern counties in
North Carolina and South Carolina under a tornado watch, the NWS
The wet and snowy conditions follow a major winter storm
system that swept through the southern United States on Tuesday,
spawning tornadoes in several states and causing the death of
two people in weather-related road accidents.
Twisters struck in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and
Louisiana, flattening houses and causing injuries, according to
the weather service.
Declaring a state of emergency, Mississippi Governor Phil
Bryant deployed resources to the multiple counties in that state
that reported damaged homes and businesses, power outages and
Tuesday's storms also contributed to a 21-vehicle pile-up
that shut Interstate 40 in downtown Oklahoma City and caused
power outages for tens of thousands of residents.
A Texas man died after an accident involving a toppled tree
in the road, and there was another weather-related fatality on
I-44 in Oklahoma, according to local authorities.
(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Paul Thomasch and