Tornadoes sweeping across Texas killed one person, sent at least a dozen people to the hospital and caused widespread damage in rural counties, officials said.
The tornado warning forced US President George W Bush and first lady Laura Bush to move to an armoured vehicle outside a shelter on their ranch in Crawford, south of Dallas, until the threat passed.
The tornadoes were part of a winter weather system forecasters said could dump up to 10 inches (25 centimetres) of snow in the northwest part of the state.
One person was killed when a tornado struck a home in Limestone County, Sheriff Dennis Wilson said. He did not know whether others were injured.
More than a dozen people were admitted to a local hospital with injuries ranging from minor to trauma-type wounds, hospital spokeswoman Sherald Wood said.
The system could dump as much as 5 inches (12 centimetres) of rain on some parts of East Texas as holiday travelers hit the roadways for New Year's, National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Barritt said.
Winds in areas of North Texas could reach 60 mph (96.5 kph) yesterday with large hail and flooding possible in isolated areas, forecasts showed.
By noon yesterday, authorities had closed Interstate 40 from Amarillo to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Wayne Beighle in Amarillo said.