Deadly Storm Threatens Northeast, Central U.S. With Snow, Floods

The deadly winter storm system which tore through the central U.S. was barreling east on Tuesday, promising a dangerous mix of snow, sleet and floods.

Tornadoes, blizzards, ice and heavy rains pounded much of the middle of the country over the past week, killing at least 43 people.

Forecasters and officials warned that the threat was not over Tuesday, with over 50 flood warnings and 30 flash flood watches in effect from the Plains to the Carolinas.

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More than a foot of snow was forecast for southwestern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota overnight, and the northeast was facing a slippery commute thanks to plunging temperatures and wintry showers.

Storm clouds midwest weather
Ryan McGinnis | Getty Images

"The good news is that New Years' should be a lot quieter," said Weather Channel lead forecaster Kevin Roth. "The Midwest is calming down and there is still plenty of snow around but by the time we get to Tuesday evening the storm should be finally pulling away."

He said snow will largely be confined to upstate New York, Maine and Vermont — though Iowa also was expected to see powder.

The Mississippi River at St Louis was poised for its second-highest crest on record Tuesday, with top-ten or top-five crests predicted all along the river's course from Missouri down to Louisiana.

With the storm moving east, the central U.S. was still reeling from the hit.

In Arkansas, Benton County Judge Bob Clinard issued an Emergency Disaster Declaration late Monday due to widespread flash flooding. A family home in Madison County was destroyed by a mudslide, while high-water rescue crews deployed in force as flooding forced evacuations in Branson, Missouri.

A tractor trailer and a school bus carrying as many as 20 students were rescued after their vehicles were swept up by flood waters on Monday, in southern Illinois, according to state police.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma's state health department said 56 people suffered storm-related injuries, including falls and traffic accidents.

With near record-setting rainfall in the region over the past 36 hours, it could take days for floodwaters to recede — and more torrential rainstorms were predicted in the South and Southeast on Wednesday, Roth said.

In New York City and much of the Northeast, overnight ice or snow was expected to taper off into rain showers that are likely to last through Wednesday night into Thursday, NBC New York reported.