Nearly 13 Million in Midwest Brace for More Storms After Tornado Kills 1


Severe weather moving east on Tuesday will hit parts of the Midwest with heavy rain, strong winds and possibly tornadoes, one day after storms lashed the southern Plains, killing at least one person and damaging buildings and homes across the region.

Nearly 13 million people in parts of Indiana, northern Kentucky and western Ohio were warned about an enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms early Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.

The roughly 60,000 square-mile area could experience a number of hazards, including frequent lightning and strong wind gusts, according to the Weather Service. There was also a heightened threat of tornadoes and hail of at least two inches over the area.

A larger section of the Midwest, encompassing nearly 16 million people across portions of Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, were facing a slight risk of severe weather on Tuesday.

Aaron Updike, a metrologist for the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, one of the cities under an enhanced risk, said severe weather would move into the region in the morning and fade away shortly thereafter.

“We’re going to get some redevelopment this afternoon and evening,” he said. “And that is where our primary focus is.” All of the usual severe weather threats were possible for Tuesday, he added.

The Weather Service also warned that storms passing over the region would produce heavy rain that may create some localized areas of flash flooding. Urban areas, roads, small streams and low-lying areas were most vulnerable, meteorologists said.

Tornadoes were still threatening cities in the central United States on Tuesday morning, with more than five million people from Oklahoma to Missouri still under a tornado watch, many of them ending as late as 8 a.m.

At least 15 tornadoes were reported to have struck parts of the Plains on Monday night. One tornado that was up to two miles wide ripped through Barnsdall, Okla., a town about 40 miles northwest of Tulsa, killing one person, an Osage County official said.

In the predawn hours, it was difficult to assess the damage caused by the tornado, but one Osage County official said it had leveled about a third of the small city, with a population of about 1,000, and caused multiple injuries. The tornado also lifted the roof off a nursing home in Barnsdall, though all residents were accounted for with no injuries or deaths, officials said.

The tornado also caused mass power outages in at least two states. More than 28,000 customers, mostly in northeast Oklahoma, were without power early Tuesday along with nearly 18,000 others in Missouri, according, which aggregates utilities information across the U.S.

In Bartlesville, Okla., about 45 miles north of Tulsa, city officials said that emergency responders had rescued a number of trapped people at a Hampton Inn and were recovering downed power lines early Tuesday. They said minor injuries had been reported.

Rescue operations were also ongoing at the Osage Nation Reservation, where officials warned residents to stay clear of the roadways and damaged areas.

Johnny Diaz, Judson Jones and John Yoon contributed reporting.

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