Flooding is an issue in parts of Oklahoma raked by severe storms on Monday. In El Reno and Stillwater, emergency responders were rescuing people from their homes because of high water. (May 21)
A violent storm system blasting through parts of the Midwest was linked to three deaths while fueling almost 60 tornado reports – and more damage could come Wednesday, forecasters warned.
Severe storms, possibly with large hail, were forecast for Wednesday from Texas to the Great Lakes, the National Weather Service said.
There were 33 reports of tornadoes on Tuesday, most in Missouri and Kansas, the weather service’s Storm Prediction Center reported. On Monday, 24 possible tornadoes were reported, mostly in Texas and Oklahoma, AccuWeather said.
An Iowa woman was killed and her husband injured when either a tornado or severe winds blew through their Adair County home Tuesday, authorities said. Robert Kempf, the emergency management coordinator for Adair and Guthrie counties, said officials had not determined whether the damage was from a tornado or straight-line winds.
“The home is pretty well destroyed,” Kempf said. “The roof is off it. Some of the walls are standing and some aren’t.”
In Missouri, heavy rain was a contributing factor in a car crash near Springfield that killed two people, the Missouri Highway Patrol said.
Flights in and out of Lambert Airport in St. Louis were halted for about an hour late Tuesday while a strong storm passed through the region. Earlier, a tornado roared near Tulsa International Airport. One person was injured as travelers were briefly moved to shelters and some flights were canceled.
In Stillwater, Oklahoma State University shut down and emergency responders were rescuing people from homes overwhelmed by high water. El Reno, 25 miles west of Oklahoma City, was partially underwater.
City Hall and schools were closed, and first responders were “working diligently to assist the citizens affected by high water,” Mayor Matt White said.
High winds and storms also forced Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to alter traffic patterns, causing some arriving flights to be delayed almost two hours.
While storms continue to batter the central U.S., extreme heat will be the main weather story in the Southeast for the next several days. Record-breaking high temperatures, some nearing 100 degrees, are possible in several states from Alabama to Virginia.
Earlier in the week, storms Monday produced golf-ball-size hail and strong wind gusts across parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Confirmed tornadoes left damage behind near Mangum, Oklahoma, and Paducah, Texas, AccuWeather said.
The severe weather this week comes after a string of wild-weather days across the Midwest last week, when at least 50 reports of tornadoes were logged across the central and southern Plains, AccuWeather said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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