UPDATE: Powerful storm system moving east after 8 killed in the West

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- UPDATE: New Mexico and Texas are on alert for wintry conditions today as stormy weather across the West blamed in eight deaths moves steadily eastward.

Forecasters say the "Nordick outbreak" will sweep across the South and toward the Atlantic coast in the coming week, impacting much of the nation and causing problems for holiday travelers with widespread snow, freezing temperatures and gusty winds.

In New Mexico, authorities and residents are bracing for the second hit of a one-two punch that has already blanketed parts of the state with snow and freezing rain A 4-year-old girl was killed in an accident.

Three storm-related deaths are reported in the Texas Panhandle. The crash involved nearly a dozen vehicles.

In California, three deaths have been linked to the storm system since Thursday.

In Arizona, firefighters recovered the body of a man who was swept away by high waters Friday.

A powerful storm system is marching across the Western U.S., leaving parts of Arizona, Nevada and California soaked as it bears down on New Mexico with predictions of widespread snow and freezing temperatures.

The fierce weather has led to at least five deaths, with flooding and water rescues reported in California, stranded drivers in Nevada and hundreds of crashes among desert dwellers in Arizona and New Mexico.

In eastern New Mexico, where freezing rain left highways slick, state police say a 4-year-old girl was killed Friday when her family's car slid across U.S. 70 and overturned.

Snowplows were busy clearing roads on Saturday as forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque braced for what they called a "big kahuna" of a storm.

The system was expected to head east and reach the Atlantic Coast by the middle of next week.

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