Firefighters Brave Blizzard Conditions as 'Bomb Cyclone' Sweeps Colorado

Ice blocks brought by flood waters lie on the road in Howard County Nebraska

The National Weather Service predicts that the storm will continue to move into Minnesota and IL, and that flooding will continue in Nebraska, Iowa and the surrounding states. The state says shelters are now providing aid to more than 100 people who were forced to evacuate their homes, with shelters open in parts of Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.

The storm also spawned at least three tornadoes in MI and in on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. It also formed hurricane-force gusting wind and led to 49 reports of hail stretching from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast this week.

Blizzards in Colorado and Wyoming and winds of up to 97 miles per hour on Wednesday shut down highways, interstates and airports, and knocked out power to about 184,000 homes and businesses in the Denver area, according to a report from the Associated Press (AP). Michigan State Police said first-responders confirmed at least 21 homes were damaged, but no injuries were immediately reported.

Flooding remained a 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.

This type of winter storm, dubbed a "bomb cyclone" or "bombogenesis" by meteorologists, occurs when weather conditions are expected to rapidly intensify, dropping 24 millibars (a measurement of atmospheric pressure) within 24 hours, when the typical range is between 10 and 15.

Number of people who lost power during the storm Wednesday. "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.

"Climate change is linked to unusual jet stream behavior and warming in the Gulf of Mexico, both of which can affect storm activity", she said.

The current bomb cyclone also whacked part of Texas - including in Amarillo, where high winds shoved a semitruck off a highway Wednesday.

A general view of the blizzard in Greeley Colorado

"Just today we're facing blizzards, white-out conditions, flooding, dense fog, and each of those pose a unique risk", he said.

Wind, blowing snow and snow-packed roadways also made travel treacherous in western Nebraska.

The Colorado National Guard announced it had rescued 93 people and two dogs after inspecting about 250 vehicles. In affected areas, many agencies are shutting down - and urging people to stay off the roads.

"We are in full saving lives mode", an El Paso County spokesman told CNN.

The department had reports of 1,100 stranded cars early Thursday, she said, and emergency crews were conducting searches amid snowdrifts as high as their SUVs, she said. The weather service said flooding will likely continue on some rivers, including the Missouri River, into this weekend. We have diabetic individuals. "We have a pregnant woman".

Bill Cooley, who works in Colorado Springs, said it usually takes him about 20 minutes to get home to Monument, but Wednesday it took eight hours.

On Wednesday, 100 vehicles were involved in an accident on Interstate 25 near Wellington, Colorado, according to Wellington Fire Protection.

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