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Published on : Thursday, October 31, 2013
A devastating storm was hurtling from Texas towards the northeast early Thursday, threatening to lash a long swathe of the U.S. with buckets of rain and high winds as officials in three states postponed trick-or-treating for Halloween to Friday.
Meteorologists warned people in the Ohio Valley, the lower Mississippi Valley and western Gulf Coast to brace for extremely harsh gusts of wind, hail and even tornadoes — a scary forecast just in time for Halloween revelry.Trick-or-treating has been pushed to Friday in scores of cities in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio — the states particularly expected to bear the brunt of the severe storm, according to Weather.com.
The storm was already brewing near Austin, Texas, early Thursday, where heavy train triggered flash floods, forcing hundreds of people from their homes amid evacuation advisories and prompting helicopter rescues, officials said.
Some areas surrounding the city were slammed by almost 15 inches of rain, according to Austin-Travis County’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS). Meanwhile, emergency crews staged 15 water rescues across Austin and Travis counties throughout the early morning, EMS spokesman Warren Hassinger said.
There was no reported deaths and only minor injuries early Thursday, although Hassinger said there were reports from neighboring Hays and Comal Counties of people calling for help who were trapped in vehicles or clinging on to trees.The Texas Department for Public Safety said there were no firm numbers yet for the four worst affected counties of Williamson, Hays, Comel and Travis, but that there were at least 20 homes affected in Hutto, a town of more than 18,000 in Williamson County.However, as a ray of hope the worst of the rain is over for the region, with the storm moving from west to east, according to the department.