Central US cleans up after severe weather

Central US cleans up after severe weather

Four tornadoes struck parts of West Texas, specifically the cities of Abilene, Ballinger and San Angelo, on Saturday in severe weather that damaged homes and businesses, forecasters say.

A spokeswoman for the city said no deaths or serious injuries were reported.

The severe weather data gathered Friday evening confirmed tornadoes tearing through areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas.

Justin Flickinger took vacation time from work to chase the storm systems that have produced dozens of tornadoes across Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas.

Those in the Chicago area are preparing for scattered, fast-moving thunderstorms that can bring damaging winds and hail, according to the National Weather Service. In eastern Iowa, dense fog is possible as strong thunderstorms aim for the region.

Arkansas officials say suspected tornadoes have damaged homes, downed trees and cut power to some areas in the western part of the state. The greatest threats will be across central to northern Texas toward Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The main threat with the line of storms that is expected to move west to east across the area this afternoon and evening will be strong to damaging wind gusts.

Violent tornadoes, very large hail and destructive winds are all possible from northern Texas to southern Kansas on Monday. Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour were likely.

This is peak tornado season, CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said, "with an average of 268 tornadoes countrywide during the month of May".

Flood threats across the central Plains will remain high through next week, Van Dam said, with rainfall totals ranging from 1 to 5 inches.

Almost 49,000 power outages occurred in Texas alone, and tornado warnings went into effect across Arkansas around 2 p.m. CDT. "The ground remains very saturated and may elevate the flood threat".

The Mississippi River has broken records for some of the longest-lasting floods in years.

In early May, the MS broke its July 9, 1993 record, after heavy rainfall triggered flooding from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, CNN affiliateWQAD reported. Its level this month reached 22.64 feet, WQAD said.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "40 million people under severe weather threats in the Midwest".

The 2nd day of a virulent disease of severe weather Saturday introduced 10 reported tornadoes to to the Plains, section of 38 reported tornadoes since Friday.



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