An American flag placed by first responders is seen December 27, 2015 in the aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas. AFP PHOTO/LAURA BUCKMAN
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Texas reeled from rare December tornadoes Monday, as days of storms battering a vast region stretching from the southwestern US to Canada claimed at least 43 lives.The governors of New Mexico, Texas and Missouri declared states of emergency for all or parts of their states to handle storm damage on Sunday.The NWS said that at least nine twisters touched down in the region late Saturday.Hardest-hit was the Dallas suburb of Garland, where authorities confirmed eight fatalities after a tornado packing winds of up to 200 miles (320 kilometers) per hour bore down on the city.The storm dumped rare heavy snow in eastern New Mexico, a situation Governor Susana Martinez described as "dire".The agency also reported 10 storm-related deaths.The NWS forecast blizzards and heavy snow for eastern New Mexico, Oklahoma and northern Texas, with snow expected to eventually reach the tornado-damaged Dallas area.The temperature in Dallas on Saturday, when the twisters struck, was an unseasonable 82 Fahrenheit (28 Celsius) -- but weather forecasters said it will plunge to 32 F (00 C) by late Monday.
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