Tornado watch: Warning issued across Midwest as severe weather continues - Hindustan Times
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Tornado watch: Warning issued across Midwest as severe weather continues

AP | | Posted by Arya Vaishnavi
May 21, 2024 11:05 PM IST

Strong winds, large hail and tornadoes swept parts of Oklahoma and Kansas late Sunday damaging homes and injuring two in Oklahoma

Residents in Omaha, Nebraska, awoke to weather sirens blaring and widespread power outages early Tuesday morning as torrential rain, high winds and large hail pummeled the area and began moving east to threaten more of the Midwest.

A truck is covered in debris as a families in Bridgeland begin to recover from and clean up storm damage on Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Cypress, Texas. The suburban Houston area of Bridgeland suffered major damage last week after a line of powerful storms, that included a confirmed tornado, swept through the area. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)(AP)
A truck is covered in debris as a families in Bridgeland begin to recover from and clean up storm damage on Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Cypress, Texas. The suburban Houston area of Bridgeland suffered major damage last week after a line of powerful storms, that included a confirmed tornado, swept through the area. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)(AP)

More than 10,000 customers were without power in and around Omaha, and the deluge of more than 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) of rain in less than two hours saw basements flooded and cars submerged in low-lying areas.

Television station KETV showed video of several vehicles overtaken by rushing water on a low-lying street in north-central Omaha and firefighters arriving to rescue people inside.

While officials had not confirmed tornadoes in the area, there were confirmed reports of hurricane-force winds, said National Weather Service meteorologist Becky Kern.

“We have a 90 mph (145 kph) gust measured at Columbus," Kern said. Columbus is about 87 miles (140 kilometers) west of Omaha.

Iowa was in the storms' crosshairs, with the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center giving most of the state a high chance of seeing severe thunderstorms with the potential for strong tornadoes later in the afternoon and into the evening.

The storms follow days of extreme weather that have ravaged much of the middle section of the country. Strong winds, large hail and tornadoes swept parts of Oklahoma and Kansas late Sunday damaging homes and injuring two in Oklahoma. Another round of storms Monday night raked Colorado and western Nebraska and saw the city of Yuma, Colorado, blanketed in hail, turning streets into rivers of water and ice.

Last week, deadly storms hit the Houston area in Texas, killing at least seven. Those storms Thursday knocked out power to hundreds of thousands for days, leaving those Texans in the dark and without air conditioning during hot and humid weather, and the hurricane-force winds reduced businesses and other structures to debris and shattered glass in downtown skyscrapers.

The storms continued their march across the Midwest on Tuesday and were expected to bring much of the same high winds, heavy rain and large hail to Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and part of northern Missouri, said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service.

“The best chance of severe weather is going to be large hail and high wind, but there's also a lesser chance of tornadoes,” Oravec said.

He said the system is expected to turn south on Wednesday, bring more severe weather to parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and southern Missouri.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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