The Northeast on Saturday braced for a hard-blowing storm that could bring severe coastal flooding, power outages and more than a foot of snow in some places.
As the system blew across the Plains, the unusually violent spring storm rattled Gulf states with violent thunderstorms, raked Texas with at least two tornadoes and was blamed for five deaths.
Snow stopped falling by Saturday afternoon in eastern Kansas, where some schools and businesses closed Friday. Up to 15 inches of snow fell in southwestern Kansas.
By Saturday afternoon, the system was spreading rain from Louisiana to Virginia and across much of the Ohio Valley. Lines of strong thunderstorms rolled across Louisiana and Mississippi into northern Alabama, and the National Weather Service posted tornado warnings for wide areas of Mississippi and some parts of Alabama.
The weather system was forecast to strengthen when it reaches the East Coast today and form a nor’easter, a storm that follows the coast northward, with northeasterly wind driving waves and heavy rain.
McCain lags rivals in fundraising
Sen. John McCain, once considered the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, disclosed Saturday that he had less than half as much money in the bank as his two main rivals and nearly $2 million in unpaid bills at the end of first quarter of 2007.
In a campaign finance report filed Saturday, McCain reported raising $13 million in the first three months of the year. But he spent $8.4 million, had $5.18 million in the bank, and had $1.8 million in unpaid bills.
McCain’s $13 million would have been a record in past years. But in a campaign in which fundraising records are being shattered, the Arizona senator’s first quarter total placed him third behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s $21 million and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s $14.7 million.
Hoping to right his campaign, McCain has shaken up his fundraising operation, placing it under the direction of former Texas Rep. Tom Loeffler. Loeffler was one of President Bush’s major money people and heads a political law and lobby group.