Heavy rain atop frozen ground causes flooding in Midwest

Nebraska Farmer Killed Trying to Rescue Someone During State’s Historic Flooding

In 48 hours, the freak storm, called a "bomb cyclone", has affected some 100 million Americans, the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) estimated Friday.

The winter storm has been linked to at least one death. The storm was blamed for the death of a Colorado state trooper who was hit by a auto sliding on ice on the highway while he attended to a vehicle wreck. Daniel Groves, age 52. As of late Wednesday night, "we still had 1,100 people stranded who had been there anywhere from an hour to seven hours", Kirby said. The mayor of Columbus also told the affiliate stations that person was a farmer on a tractor out to rescue someone from the flood waters. The National Weather Service says the intense weather might have peaked - but isn't letting up yet.

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.

"All state offices will be closed today", South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced, citing forecasters' warnings of intense winds. High speed in poor driving conditions is the likely cause of the accidents, according to local police.

"Widespread and extremely risky flooding will continue today and tonight", the National Weather Service office in Omaha, Nebraska, said on Friday in a statement. The more lines there are and the closer they are together, the stronger the winds are.

The "bomb cyclone" slammed the central United States with hurricane-like winds and blizzard conditions this week, leaving in its tracks heavy rains and flooding. "The best place to be is at home and off the roads".

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A policeman talks to a driver as snow clogs the roads in Lone Tree, Colorado, U.S.in this March 13, 2019 handout photo.

Flooding forced evacuations in northeast Nebraska and western Iowa, including a retirement home in Pierce, Nebraska.

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.

At one point, weather watches, warnings and advisories spanned 5 million square miles across the central USA stretching from Canada to the Mexican border.

A CBS4 viewer sent video showing what it was like flying into Denver as the bomb cyclone was gaining strength over the eastern plains. When that much air rushes higher into the atmosphere, it causes severe weather. Residents of communities that had to evacuate because of flooding will be cleaning up the damage for some time.

A blizzard of "historic proportions" that hit the U.S. Rocky Mountain and Plains states this week was moving eastward on Thursday as it weakened, hurling hurricane-force winds, tornadoes and heavy rain on its way, weather officials said.

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