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Eleven dead in the South as severe storms move in across the U.S.

Forecasters warn of potential for flash flooding on West Coast while up to 12 inches of snow are forecast for Maine and New England.
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A total of 11 are now confirmed dead as heavy snow from a “potent storm system” is expected to batter the Northeast Saturday, while flash flooding could hit coastal areas of Northern California and southern Oregon, forecasters have warned.

Rain and strong winds will likely affect a large swath of the Northeast, the National Weather Service said in a bulletin, adding that “heavy snow to continue across interior Northeast and northern New England.”

An additional 3 to 6 inches of snow were possible, it said, adding that between 8 and 12 inches were forecast for southern Maine and New Hampshire through Saturday.

Heavy snow will also hit the West Coast as a new storm system moves in, bringing the possibility of rainfall that could cause flash flooding along the coastal areas of Northern California and southern Oregon, forecasters warned Saturday.

As the system tracks southward “an additional several feet of snow will be possible” in the higher terrains of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges,” the National Weather Service said in a bulletin.

As a result, the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office warned in a tweet to expect “substantial disruptions to daily life this weekend.”

Motorists were also warned against traveling in “impossible” conditions, and “extensive and widespread closures and disruption to infrastructure” were also a possibilities, in a separate bulletin.

By early Saturday, 28,000 homes and businesses in California were without power early Saturday, according to outage tracking website

The warnings came after California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in 13 counties on Thursday, and activated state support and emergency response efforts to coordinate mutual aid. He also mobilized the California National Guard to support disaster relief.

In the South, 11 people have died in five states after a series of storms with damaging winds lashed the region Thursday and Friday, officials said.

Five people died in Kentucky, one in Tennessee, three in Alabama, and one person was found dead in Arkansas, officials said. One person in Mississippi died in severe weather Thursday.

More than half a million homes and businesses in Tennessee and Kentucky were without power early Saturday, according to 

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency before the storm, and on Friday evening the mayor of Louisville, Craig Greenberg, followed suit because of the severe storms, high winds, widespread damage and danger to lives and property.

“I encourage everyone in our community to exercise extreme caution this evening, and in the coming days — do not drive through standing water, do not approach downed power lines, or do anything that would put the lives of anyone at risk,” Greenberg said in a Facebook post.