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Storm system threatening 90 million in US with destructive weather

Frame grab from a Reuters video captured on April 14, 2019 shows the aftermath of a tornado associated with the deadly storm.

A deadly storm that has already killed seven people throughout the United States’ south is lurching towards the country’s eastern flank, threatening to spawn tornadoes and other catastrophic weather there.

As many as 90 million people might be badly affected by the destructive weather, according to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink.

"New York, Washington DC and Atlanta all within the zone," CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.

The storm system left the fatal trail in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas over the weekend. According to NBC News, the latter state reported winds of up to 140 mph in Robertson County, northwest of capital Houston. The deaths included two children, aged eight and three, who died in Angelina County, Texas, when a tree fell onto their car.

The storm also packed a tornado that, according to the Associated Press, destroyed 55 homes, a church, four businesses, a duplex building, and part of the local housing authority building.

On Sunday, National Weather Service (NWS) issued tornado warnings and watches for parts of Washington, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Severe thunderstorm warnings were also in effect across the region, NBC said.

An NWS official said, "Heavy rainfall may hide this tornado. Do not wait to see or hear the tornado. Take cover now."

"Damaging winds and some hail are also associated with these storms pushing through the Southeast," Brink said.

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport reported snow drifts running 15 centimeters (0.5 foot) in height. The terminal has either killed or delayed 1,000 flights as a result.

The weather service official, meanwhile, sternly warned, "Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely."

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