4 dead as tornadoes, floods slam US

4 dead as tornadoes, floods slam US
A destroyed sign for a car wash is seen in tornado-hit Jefferson City, MO. Thursday. (AP)
Oklahoma, May 23 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 5/23/2019 1:05:16 PM IST

A violent storm system blasting through parts of the central U.S. was linked to four deaths while fueling almost 60 tornado reports Monday and Tuesday – with more damage expected, forecasters warned.

Severe storms, possibly with large hail, were forecast for Wednesday from Texas to the Great Lakes, the National Weather Service said. 

Forecasters had placed portions of eastern Kansas and western Missouri under a “moderate” risk for severe weather later Wednesday. That’s level 4 on the 5-level risk scale for severe storms. 

Flooding was a concern to the south: Residents of some small towns in Oklahoma and Kansas were being urged to leave their homes as rivers and streams rose. The Arkansas River is approaching historic highs, while the already high Missouri and Mississippi rivers were again rising Wednesday. There were 33 reports of tornadoes on Tuesday, mostly in Missouri and Kansas, the weather service’s Storm Prediction Center reported. On Monday, 24 tornadoes were reported, mostly in Texas and Oklahoma, AccuWeather said.

An Iowa woman was killed and her husband injured when a tornado blew through their Adair County home early Wednesday, authorities said. 

Robert Kempf, the emergency management coordinator for Adair and Guthrie counties, said “the home is pretty well destroyed. The roof is off it. Some of the walls are standing and some aren’t.”

The weather service rated the tornado as an EF2, with winds estimated at 120-130 mph.

In Missouri, heavy rain was a contributing factor in a car crash near Springfield that killed two people, the Missouri Highway Patrol said. A woman was also killed Tuesday in Payne County, Oklahoma, after she drove her vehicle around a barricade and was swept away by high water, KFOR-TV reported.

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. 

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