Nightly News   |  October 05, 2013

One weather system breeds tornados, snow

Different types of severe weather have affected several areas of the country. Jim Cantore reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> on this early fall weekend, a lot of americans are seeing the worst nature has to offer ... from a blast of crippling snow in south dakota , to a tornado outbreak in nebraska and iowa.

all of this as tropical storm karen remains on track to bring potentially flooding rains along parts of the gulf coast .

our colleagues at the weather channel are tracking it all, and jim cantore joins us now from pensacola, florida with the latest. jim?

good evening lester. behind me you can see the massive waves that are coming in from karen. all this of course masked by what has been a beautiful day here in pensacola beach , while other parts of the country have not been so lucky.

destruction across nebraska and iowa as at least 9 powerful tornadoes- some a mile wide- ripped through rural towns.

in wayne, nebraska - an suspected ef-4 tornado with winds up to 200 miles an hour wiped out a dozen homes and businesses. 15 people were injured.

at daybreak, the mayor and residents assessed the damage

it's much worse in person that it appears in pictures that i've seen. you get this feeling that you've been punched in the gut. a lot of people's hard work was destroyed this morning.

sifting through belongings....

well let me start moving some stuff

oh there it is!

we live in tornado alley , i've picked up stuff for my buddies, now it's my turn, i guess.

it all happened so fast

russ urbane was working at a john deere dealership when they saw the storm approach - he and his coworkers took cover in an interior bathroom just in time.

by the time we got to the bathroom, the building was falling down around us and there was nothing we could do.

the other part of this storm system...left dozens of cities paralyzed in the west.

lot of snow, no power, very cold house

in south dakota more than 80 people were stranded in their cars as heavy snow and 70 mile an hour winds made highways impassable.

400 miles of highway... shut down across the region.

snowfall records were shattered -

lead, south dakota got 43.5 inches !

in rapid city 19 inches... the old record was 1.4 inches

trees still full of leaves pulled down power lines throughout wyoming and the dakotas - leaving 50-thousand residents without electricity and heat.

we're going to have to go to somebody elses house, i don't have a generator. i don't know what we're going to do. it's kind of a bad situation.

south dakota and nebraska saw both snow and tornados

>> this was a weather system that came in across the pacific northwest . the cold side of the surface low had blizzard conditions. the east side tapped gulf of mexico moisture very warm, very unstable. a lot of tornadoes. some of them very strong.

>> meanwhile, the gulf is bracing for tropical storm karen . a mandatory evacuation remains in effect for plaquemines parish in louisiana. large parts of the area are still recovering from hurricane isaac a year ago. there are no levees in place to protect that part of the parish. as the snow winds down, the severe weather continues tonight. we have currently tornado warnings in illinois, kentucky, as well as into tennessee. tornadoes entirely possible there. the track in terms of karen and its closest approach to us will be tomorrow. you see it coming into southern louisiana tonight. but weakening to a tropical depression , still rain , wind and the dangerous surf like you see behind me certainly possible as we head through the day on sunday. lester, back to you.