Tornadoes Pummel Midwest with More to Come

More than 20 tornadoes roared through the Midwest Sunday, and reports promise continuing severe weather today. 

A northeast-moving storm from Texas to Minnesota hit Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma with tornado touchdowns over the weekend and about 300 appearances of hail and high winds.

State Farm spokesman Jim Camoriano says, "As the storm moved east across Kansas and Oklahoma on Sunday, it evolved from a tornado event, then into a hail event, and finally turned into a straight-line wind event."

Camoriano says that while it does not have an exact claims figure yet, the volume is "not significantly higher than previous storms."

Nationwide states that is has received more than 630 auto and homeowner's claims so far from yesterday's weather.

State Farm says that, in Oklahoma, the hardest-hit areas were east of Oklahoma City in Shawnee, where a nearby mobile home park was completely destroyed, and in Carney. There were also reports of baseball-sized hail. 

"About 20 percent of the claims we have received as of early this morning were from customers whose homes were damaged so badly they are considered 'uninhabitable,'” the spokesman says. “We have a team of first responders who have been out visiting with customers. Our policies provide living expenses for customers displaced from their home – which includes lodging, food, and other necessities.”

In Kansas, State Farm says an EF-1 tornado touched down in north Wichita and traveled a little more than four-and-a-half miles, but most of the damage there, including broken windows on homes and vehicles and holes in house siding, is hail-induced.  

“The Kansas City metro area received damage from straight-line winds, and we received reports of downed power lines and trees,” says the spokesman.

Around 10 pm last night, Accuweather reported more than 7,000 customers without power in Kansas. 

Dallas to Chicago, including Tulsa, St. Louis, Cedar Rapids, Minneapolis and possibly Detroit and Indianapolis are at risk for more damaging 60 mph wind gusts, hail and tornadoes today.  

The National Weather Service warns that storms forming over southern Oklahoma and north Texas have the greatest chance of swirling into individual tornadoes, while weather over the plains are likely to cause damaging winds and hail by early evening.

According to the Weather Channel, May 19 was the second-most active day for tornadoes in the U.S. so far this year. Last week, tornadoes in Texas killed six in the worst outbreak of 2013.


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