Oklahoma braces for more tornadoes, as severe storm system lingers (+video)
Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and southern Missouri faced a new series of tornadoes, heavy rain, and hail on Monday, as a massive storm system takes longer than usual to move through the nation's midsection.
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Tornados also touched down in Iowa, Kansas, and western Illinois, with no injuries reported. In Iowa, a tornado inflicted damage in the towns of Huxley and Earlham, west of Des Moines. Downed power lines have left about 11,000 homes without power, six mobile homes were damaged, and, according to the Associated Press, one farmer reported the deaths of some animals, as heavy winds destroyed a barn.Skip to next paragraph
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A tornado swept down on Kansas late afternoon Sunday on the southwest side of Wichita, near the Mid-Continent Airport, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Several homes suffered window, siding, and roof damage, and more than 53,000 homes lost power. The storm was so immediate, it disrupted several high school graduation ceremonies as heavy rains and hail forced attendees to seek shelter. More than two inches of rain pounded Wichita streets, causing some flooding.
A tornado touched down in Thomson, Ill., early Sunday evening, according to the NWS. Carroll County emergency officials reported that the tornado damaged several large trees, bringing with it one-inch-diameter hail. About 1,000 people were left without power in the Quad Cities area.
The NWS predicts that a second series of storms will once again move northwest. Although the storm is moving from north Texas to northern Michigan, the highest-risk areas are the bulk of Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and southern Missouri. Isolated tornadoes are once again possible, and residents are expected to see heavy rains and large hail.
“Today is looking to be much more explosive than tomorrow,” says Pat Slattery, spokesman for the central region office of the NWS.
Jim Keeney, a NWS meteorologist based in Kansas City, Mo., says the storm system originated Saturday and is remaining in the central part of the country through Tuesday, moving across the Midwest more slowly than normal.
“There’s just not enough air support to push it to the east. In situations like that, it’s a real slow progression,” Mr. Keeney says.
The US has reached the midpoint of the tornado season, which runs April through June, he says. Tornado warnings are currently in place for Missouri through Oklahoma through the rest of Monday night.