"Bomb cyclone" fizzles to rain across U.S. Midwest

Late-winter storm drops record rain in Midwest

Meteorologists call storms like this one a "bomb cyclone", a winter hurricane that forms when the barometric pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours.

"We're already seeing flooding in a number of communities and evacuations in several communities". Damaging Effects The National Weather Service described the powerful cyclone as a "cyclone of historic proportions".

"All state offices will be closed today", South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced, citing forecasters' warnings of intense winds. Although Colorado saw the bomb cyclone manifest itself in the form of snow, rain is the main culprit in Iowa and IL.

Thirteen tornados were reported Thursday in Kentucky, Indiana and MI, said Bob Oravec, a meteorologist with the National Weather Center's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, but no immediate reports of serious damage. And while some flights resumed, the airport was not expected to be fully operational until midday on Thursday as airlines had still had to dispatch more planes to Denver to replace those diverted or canceled earlier, she said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

A history-making "bomb cyclone" on Thursday blasted communities near the Rockies with snow and drenched the Midwest with rain, causing one death, as forecasters predicted flooding will spread throughout the region over the weekend. "By mid-morning the heart of the storm will be western Iowa, headed toward Wisconsin and MI, where it will bring about a half-inch of warm rain", Hurley said.

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A policeman in Lone Tree, Colo., talks to a driver as snow clogs the towns roads, caught in a later winter storm known as a bomb cyclone.

But in eastern Nebraska, flooding worsened Friday and remained a big concern in the lower Missouri River region - which is a major source for the Mississippi River - with the weather service issuing warnings of high water along the river and its tributaries from southeastern South Dakota to St. Louis in Missouri. Thousands of homes and businesses were still without power Friday in Colorado, mostly in the Denver area, although crews worked throughout the day to restore electricity. No one was injured, New Mexico State Police said.

About 50 National Guard soldiers and airmen used specialized vehicles with tank-like treads to rescue 75 people stranded in their cars during the storm.

"We are in full saving lives mode", an El Paso County spokesman told CNN. It urged residents to stay off the road "as it's easy to get stuck out there".

On Wednesday, a 100-vehicle accident was reported near the town of Wellington in Colorado, and a state trooper was killed trying to rescue a stranded motorist. He left at noon and tried to take back roads but found them blocked by disabled cars. Also contributing were Associated Press reporters Dan Elliott in Longmont, Colorado; David Pitt in Des Moines, Iowa; Bob Moen and Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee; James Anderson and Thomas Peipert in Denver; Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis; Josh Funk in Omaha, Nebraska; Seth Borenstein in Washington; David Warren in Dallas; Kathleen Foody in Denver.

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