Minneapolis, Minn. ( Associated Press) – Major winter storms continued to storm California and the northwestern United States on Wednesday, bringing torrential rain to the West Coast and heavy snow in north-central states, as possible tornadoes damaged homes in the South. .
A Delta plane skidded off an icy runway after landing in a snowstorm in Minneapolis on Tuesday, the airline said, but no passengers were injured. Delta Airlines reported that the flight landed safely from Los Cabos, Mexico, but then the aircraft’s nose gear “came off the taxiway while turning to the departure gate due to icy conditions.”
Jeff Lee, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said it took about an hour to get the 147 passengers off the plane to the terminal, the Star Tribune reported.
The National Weather Service reported that 10 inches (25 cm) of snow had fallen at the airport as of 6 a.m. Wednesday. 7 to 12 cm (3 to 5 in) more were possible. Several schools were closed Wednesday due to continued snowfall in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
To the south, an apparent tornado damaged homes, uprooted trees and overturned a vehicle Wednesday morning in Montgomery, Alabama. Christina Thornton, director of the Montgomery Emergency Management Agency, said radar indicated a possible tornado, but could not immediately confirm. He said the storm had extremely strong winds and moved over the area before dawn.
The National Weather Service said inclement weather spawned at least six tornadoes in Illinois on Tuesday, the rarest January tornadoes in the state since 1989.
The weather service reported Wednesday that five tornadoes occurred in or near the city of Decatur in central Illinois, while a sixth occurred near the Ford County community of Gibson City.
On the West Coast, the snowpack covering California’s mountains is off to one of its best starts in 40 years, officials announced Tuesday, raising hopes the drought-stricken state could soon see relief. In the spring when the snow melts and begins to fill the reservoirs.