It combines the force and wrath of the worst weather conditions, such as thunderstorms, severe blizzards, gusty winds, and flash floods. The missing individual had not been found by midmorning Thursday.
Numerous creeks and streams were out of their banks and caused widespread flooding, the National Weather Service office in Des Moines said. Tornadoes have so far been reported in New Mexico, Michigan and Kentucky, and have caused considerable damage to power lines and buildings, but no fatalities.
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In Sioux Falls, S.D., the eponymous falls were raging Wednesday and Thursday, and floodwaters forced dozens of road closures.
The storm was expected to drop up to 22 inches (56 centimeters) of snow in Wyoming, 14 inches (36 centimeters) in South Dakota and a foot (31 centimeters) in Colorado. The state was preparing an emergency declaration, Noem said.
The storm left quickly rising floods in its wake in parts of eastern Nebraska and Iowa that saw residents evacuated from their homes, roads washed out in communities, and farmers anxious all the water would drown livestock.
"Just today we're facing blizzards, white-out conditions, flooding, dense fog, and each of those pose a unique risk", he said.
A disaster proclamation by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, issued in response to reports of flooding, remained in effect in Iowa overnight.
"We've got a lot of water, and it's got to find a way to get out of here", said Tracy West, mayor of Lennox, South Dakota.
From the Colorado Rockies to the Northeast, heavy snow, wind and flooding rains are affecting 70 million Americans, leaving manywithout power and others stranded on roads and at airports.
Air rushed into the low-pressure area and then rose into the atmosphere.
The storm gained "bomb cyclogenesis" or "bombogenesis" status earlier in the week after its air pressure dropped precipitously within 24 hours, causing wind gusts of almost 100 mph while simultaneously dropping several inches of snow and rain.
"A bomb cyclone on the East Coast around this time previous year killed multiple people, shut down train and plane service and knocked out power to about 2 million people", NPR's Rebecca Hersher reported Wednesday. And in New Mexico, 36 miners at a nuclear waste repository were trapped underground in an elevator for about three hours because of a power outage caused by the extreme weather.
The Colorado State Patrol said one of its troopers, 52-year-old Corporal Daniel Groves, was killed northeast of Denver when a vehicle veered out of control and struck him as he was helping the victims of another auto accident.
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Five people were hurt and 150 dairy cows had to be euthanized when a tornado hit the small town of Dexter, New Mexico. There are no immediate reports of any injuries, but homes and trees were damaged and power was knocked out to thousands. He police said people should be careful during the exit.
Colorado has been one of the hardest hit states, with white-out conditions and wind gusts reaching 97 miles per hour - Category 2 hurricane levels.
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