The Latest: Weather Service says Kansas twister hit 170 mph
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on the powerful storms battering parts of the U.S. (all times local):
The National Weather Service has rated a tornado that caused extensive damage in eastern Kansas an EF-4.
Tuesday’s twister had peak winds of 170 mph (274 kph).
The tornado was part of a severe system that moved through the area west of Kansas City, causing 18 injuries and damaging homes, trees and power lines in Douglas, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties.
The weather service said the tornado developed southwest of the college town of Lawrence as an EF-3 storm and strengthened as it moved northeast. The tornado was on the ground for almost 32 miles (51 kilometers) and was a 1 mile (1.6-kilometers) wide at its largest.
The National Weather Service is confirming that at least 15 tornadoes hit Ohio in a Memorial Day barrage.
Those tornadoes included at least eight that struck the greater Dayton area Monday where damage was worst. Only a single fatality was reported, in Celina (suh-LEYE’-nuh), with dozens injured in and around Dayton.
Tens of thousands of Ohio residents remained without power or water Wednesday.
At least 60,000 people lacked water service around Dayton, where ice and water distribution centers were set up.
A utility said power had been returned to some 35,000 customers Wednesday, but tens of thousands still were awaiting restoration.
Volunteer Brian Ward has been handing out water and helping cook hamburgers and hotdogs in Dayton since Tuesday. He calls it “mind-blowing” how quickly the community pulled together.
Storm spotters have reported at least three tornadoes in the counties just north and east of Dallas.
Spotters reported twisters near Rockwall, Greenville and Canton to the National Weather Service between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday. Funnel clouds that didn’t reach the ground also were reported. All of them dispersed quickly and there were no reports of damage or injuries.
The storms were forming hundreds of miles ahead of a cold front.
The weather service said in a statement that strong low-level instability has allowed some of the thunderstorms to become severe and that it has received numerous reports of wind damage, hail and a few tornadoes.
The National Weather Service says at least three tornadoes touched down during strong storms that raked across Pennsylvania overnight.
The weather service said Wednesday that the twisters struck Tuesday night in Bradford, Indiana and Berks counties.
The storm system also dumped heavy rain on western Pennsylvania, flooding the borough of Zelienople, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Pittsburgh, and requiring the water rescue of several people.
Storms have spawned tornadoes and exacerbated flooding in a large swath of the central U.S. in recent weeks, including Tuesday twisters in Kansas and Missouri.
Tornado warnings have expired for parts of North Texas, but the area remains under a tornado watch until the evening.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning until 2:30 p.m. Wednesday for sections of Dallas, Tarrant and Denton counties. Forecasters say a tornado watch remains in effect for parts of North Texas until 8 p.m.
Dark clouds hovered in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area during the tornado warning period, but there were no immediate reports of weather-related injuries or damage.
The aviation tracking website FlightAware.com listed about 550 canceled flights Wednesday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. More than 100 flights were canceled at Love Field, closer to downtown Dallas.
The National Weather Service has rated a tornado that was on the ground for nearly six miles northeast of Kansas City, Missouri, as an EF-2.
Meteorologist Jonathan Kurtz said Wednesday that no injuries were reported with the tornado, which damaged trees and homes Tuesday night and had peak wind speeds of 115 mph (185 kph).
The tornado was part of a severe system that moved through the area Tuesday.
The weather service is still assessing the strength of a twister that injured at least 15 people, three of them serious, and damaged homes, trees and power lines in Douglas and Leavenworth counties in eastern Kansas.
Concerns are high that flooding in the central U.S. will get even worse because of the most recent torrential downpours.
Strong storms that spawned dangerous tornadoes in Kansas and northwestern Missouri also brought heavy rain. Flash floods were reported in several places, closing roads and forcing water rescues.
Mark Fuchs of the National Weather Service, says Holt County in northwestern Missouri received 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of rain, and a widespread area along the Iowa-Missouri border received at least 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain.
Fuchs says most of the water will eventually drain into the already-flooded Missouri River, but it’s too early to know the exact impact. Some of the water also will end up in the Mississippi River, which is approaching record highs in several Missouri and Illinois communities.
More rain is forecast for Wednesday.
Officials say three people in Douglas County, west of Kansas City, Kansas, were seriously injured by a strong tornado that struck near the college town of Lawrence.
The tornado touched down Tuesday night in a neighborhood south of Lawrence, which is home to the University of Kansas. More than a dozen homes were severely damaged, but no one was killed.
The Douglas County Emergency Management agency said Wednesday on Facebook that 15 people were injured by the storm, including the three with serious injuries. It warned people to stay away from storm-damaged areas.
The tornado was part of another strong round of severe and damaging storms that have battered the central U.S. Several twisters were reported in Iowa and Missouri, which also got heavy rain that caused flash flooding and led to water rescues.
Kansas City International Airport is open again after a harrowing night of storms that left debris over the runway, including debris apparently from a tornado-ravaged town nearly 50 miles away.
A tornado warning Tuesday night forced officials to move people from the terminal to a tunnel leading to the parking garage, where they stayed for about an hour.
But flights were delayed for several hours because of debris strewn about the airfield. Airport spokesman Joe McBride says debris that included pots, plants and wall panels was apparently blown to Kansas City from a tornado that struck Linwood, Kansas, 47 miles to the southwest.
The airport’s Twitter account described it as “Thousands of pieces over millions of square feet.”
The airport reopened around 12:15 a.m.
Another round of severe storms is causing more flood problems in the central U.S.
A round of storms Tuesday night and Wednesday morning resulted in several damaging tornadoes in Kansas. The storm moved into Missouri and dumped massive amounts of rain in the northern part of the state.
Several water rescues were reported in northern Missouri. In sparsely populated Putnam County, officials urged everyone to stay off roads because flooding was rampant after the county got 2 inches of rain in 20 minutes Tuesday night.
Hannibal, Missouri, officials were just beginning to assess damage Wednesday, hours after torrential rain proved too much for the storm sewers, causing a break that resulted in water damage to buildings in the historic downtown area.
The rain is expected to cause yet another spike in river levels. The Mississippi River already is approaching record highs in several Missouri and Illinois communities.