US tornadoes kill four people

One of these carved a devastating path through an eastern Colorado town as a massive spring storm swept from the Rockies into the central plains, killing at least four people in three states, authorities said.

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Another twister killed an Oklahoma couple as it blew their home to pieces. A woman died after the Colorado tornado hit, and a Texas man was found dead in the tangled debris of his trailer.

The massive storm system stretched from South Dakota to Texas, threatening flash flooding in central Nebraska and Kansas and more severe weather farther south.

Winter storm warnings were still posted for most of Wyoming, where heavy snow was blamed for interstate highway pileups, forecasters said. In central Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains, 147cm of snow from the storm was recorded.

Some of the worst devastation was in Holly, Colorado, 378km south-east of Denver, where at least eight people were injured when the tornado ploughed through the town late in the day.

Dozens of homes were damaged and the streets and yards were littered with broken power lines, tree limbs and debris.

A 28-year-old woman whose home was hit in the Holly area died after being airlifted to a Colorado Springs hospital, according to the coroner.

The Colorado tornadoes also killed dozens of cattle and injured others so severely that they will have to be shot.

Just three months earlier, back-to-back blizzards and sub-zero temperatures killed more than 10,000 animals on farms across Holly’s south-eastern corner of the state.

At least 11 tornadoes were reported throughout western Nebraska, destroying or damaging three homes and 16 to 19km of power lines, emergency management officials said.

Near Elmwood, Oklahoma, Vance and Barbra Woodbury were killed when the storm blew apart their home, said Dixie Parker, Beaver County’s emergency management director. Their bodies were found about 23 metres from the obliterated structure.

The Texas Panhandle was hit with baseball-sized hail, rain and tornadoes that uprooted trees, overturned trucks and injured at least three people.

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