At least 19 tornadoes affected regions from Texas to Minnesota because of the band of severe weather which crossed the Plains states on Saturday night. The storms and tornadoes caused damage to power lines, homes and businesses and even ruined a prom.
There were no immediate reports of casualties, but according to Kelly Cass, Weather Channel meteorologist, more than 20 million people in the US are under threat of severe weather such as heavy rain, strong wind gusts, thunderstorms and large hail. The moisture pulled north from the Gulf of Mexico the chances of tornadoes were increased from Saturday night to Sunday morning.
According to Daryl Williams, National Weather Service forecaster, on Saturday the tornadoes hit Oklahoma near Tipton and Elmer. Other tornado briefly touched down Elk City and Interstate 40. There were other series of possible tornadoes and in several areas warning were issued. Among the regions which were affected there are Kansas, Texas, Nebraska and Minnesota.
In Lyon County Kansas Jacob Welsh, Sheriff’s Deputy, declared that traffic was stopped due to the severe weather the 34 cars of a cargo train were derailed and toppled.
In Tecumseh, Oklahoma a high school prom was interrupted. The students were forced to leave the dance floor and went on the school’s hallways because of a possible tornado.
Keli Cain, spokeswoman for the Department of Emergency Management, reported:
“This is just still very, very preliminary, but we’re hearing a lot of damage to power lines, outbuildings. We’ve also heard reports of damage to homes and businesses, primarily in Major County and Roger Mills County.”
Cain also added that according to Oklahoma Corporation Commission there were more than 3,000 power outages. In southwestern Oklahoma the tornadoes were very strong but they occurred in isolated areas.
Forecaster Jared Guyer from the Storm Prediction Center said that they expected the tornadoes to calm down later on Saturday. However the storms with hail and rain could also continue Sunday.
In contrast with the storms and tornadoes, the Eastern Seaboard enjoyed a balmy, steamy weekend. In some southern stated the temperatures hit highs in the 80s and the low 90s. However, according to Michael Paler, the lead forecaster at the Weather Channel, the summer-like weather will be interrupted by the isolated thunderstorms and some warmer areas will be soaked in the afternoon and evening.
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