Authorities say at least nine people have died in severe storms that are spreading across much of the United States, bringing dangerous winds across the South and blinding snow and ice to parts of the Great Plains and Midwest.
At least seven tornadoes have been confirmed in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, according to the National Weather Service.
Three people were confirmed dead in Alabama near the town ofCarrollton in Pickens County after “an embedded tornado within a long line of intense thunderstorms” ravaged the area, according to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.
In Lubbock, Texas, two first responders were struck and killed by a vehicle as they were attending to a traffic accident brought on by icy road conditions. A 27-year-old police officer died at the scene, the Associated Press reported, while a 39-year-old firefighter was pronounced dead at the hospital. A second firefighter injured at the scene was in critical condition.