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Map shows how 13 million people in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio are threatened by severe weather today as storms move east after tornadoes hit Oklahoma

Map shows how 13 million people in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio are threatened by severe weather today as storms move east after tornadoes hit Oklahoma

By Perkin Amalaraj

12:26 May 7, 2024, updated 12:30 May 7, 2024

Nearly 13 million people in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio are currently experiencing severe weather as a massive storm moves east across the Plains.

Data from the U.S. National Weather Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows that nearly 13 million people in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio are at increased risk of severe weather today.

The Weather Service said people living in the roughly 60,000-square-mile area could experience hazards including frequent lightning and high winds, as well as an increased risk of tornadoes and hail of at least two inches.

The storms can also bring rain heavy enough to cause flash flooding, with urban areas, roads, small streams and low-lying areas most vulnerable.

Another 16 million people in parts of Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee are at low risk of severe weather today.

It comes as tornadoes ravaged Oklahoma, while 1,100 flights were delayed in Denver and military bases were evacuated in the latest round of storms to hit the Midwest. So far, one person has died from the storms.

The Weather Service said people living in the roughly 60,000-square-mile area could experience hazards, including frequent lightning and high winds.
A car lies on its side after a tornado ripped through Sulfur, Oklahoma
Tornado damage to the city of Sulfur, Oklahoma

The town of Barnsdall, Oklahoma, was rocked Monday evening by a tornado that collapsed power lines and spread debris. It moved in around 9:30 PM and destroyed several houses. Photos from the scene showed the destruction as locals mounted search and rescue efforts.

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued a tornado warning for parts of southern Kansas, western and central Oklahoma and western North Texas Monday afternoon until 11 p.m.

Heavy hail and strong winds, including isolated gusts of up to 120 km/h, were expected to affect more than 3.4 million people.

Colorado felt the storm as it rolled across the state Monday evening, forcing airlines to postpone or cancel more than 1,100 flights at Denver International Airport.

By the evening, tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma with social media posts showing funnel clouds near Perry.

Homes were destroyed in the aftermath of a powerful storm that struck the town of Barnsdall, Oklahoma, on Monday evening. Tornadoes were reported across the state in the latest blast of weather in the Midwest
The funnel, seen here, passed through Barnsdall and nearby Bartlesville, causing at least 4,200 power outages in the area

In the town of just over 5,000 residents, power lines broke, trees were uprooted and at least one building was damaged, KFOR said.

Trees and destroyed buildings were also reported near the Garfield County line with Kingfisher County in Oklahoma.

The towns of Barnsdall and Bartlesville both suffered extensive damage. Public Service Company of Oklahoma reported a total of 4,200 power outages around 10:15 p.m., including 2,254 in Bartlesville alone.

“Supercells are expected to shoot from western Oklahoma into western Kansas before moving east overnight,” warned AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tyler Roys. “These storms will likely include not only a few tornadoes, but also giant, damaging hailstones.”

As rain fell and howling winds battered the state, schools and colleges, including the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Public Schools, canceled late afternoon and evening activities.

More than 1,600 schools and 159 hospitals in the state are facing the most serious tornado threat, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm is expected to move northeast overnight, causing more damage in the Illinois and Indiana regions.

Earlier in the day, the storms made their impact felt in Colorado and Kansas.

Strong winds of 45 miles per hour toppled small planes at Centennial Airport in Englewood, about 7 miles outside Denver.

A funnel was spotted in Westmoreland, Kansas on Monday evening
Dark clouds were gathering over Texas, where the National Weather Service expects large hail and isolated wind gusts up to 75 mph

More than 1,100 flights were delayed in Denver. According to data from FlightAware, incoming flights were delayed an average of one hour and 18 minutes, while departing flights were delayed an average of one hour and four minutes.

On Monday morning, McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, moved some of its aircraft to other bases to protect them from damage. The forecast in the region indicates the possibility of damaging winds between 120 and 130 km/h.

The Air Force sent McConnell’s KC-135R Stratotanker and KC-46A Pegasus aircraft to military bases outside the local area. The remaining crafts undergoing maintenance were hidden away in hangars.

The development marked the third time in four weeks that McConnell’s planes were moved due to bad weather.

Hail three inches wide — about the size of an apple — was reported near the town of Ellinwood, 100 miles northwest of Wichita.

A drone view shows people inspecting the location of damaged buildings in the aftermath of a tornado in Omaha, Nebraska on April 26
Homes were razed across the state, including in Elkhorn, a suburb of Omaha
BNSF train cars derailed along US Route 6 after a tornado ripped through the area between Waverly and Lincoln

This week’s treacherous weather follows another storm system that paved a path of destruction through Texas. On the evening of May 3, a funnel was spotted west of Anson before moving southeast toward Truby and the community of Hodges and Hawley, a town in Jones County.

The tornado then moved toward Abilene, about 200 miles west of the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, leaving mangled trees and downed power lines in its wake. The tornado touched down in Tye around 7:20 p.m., along with baseball-sized hail.

And starting April 26, dozens of tornadoes leveled buildings and caused power outages in Nebraska, Iowa and Oklahoma.

Four deaths were reported in Oklahoma, including a four-month-old baby. Cities like Sulfur and Holdenville were hardest hit, accounting for three of the five deaths.

NWS survey teams reported damage consistent with an EF-3 tornado in the region, characterized by damaging wind gusts between 130 and 165 mph.

In Nebraska, hundreds of homes were razed, torn from their foundations or torn from their roofs.

The first tornado struck Elkhorn on April 26 around 4 p.m., leveling at least six newly constructed homes and damaging dozens of others.

High winds even toppled BNSF train cars along Route 6 between Waverly and Lincoln.

Another casualty was reported on Saturday in Minden, Iowa, bringing the death toll to five.

The unnamed man was fatally injured when she became trapped in his basement as a tornado raged overhead.