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Communities left reeling across central US after another round of deadly severe weather decimates towns

todayMay 7, 2024 5

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BARNSDALL, Okla. – Residents in communities across the central U.S. are once again sifting through the debris of destroyed homes and businesses after severe weather and tornadoes ripped across the region from Monday night into Tuesday morning, leaving at least one person dead and causing catastrophic damage in a city north of Tulsa in Oklahoma.A Tornado Emergency was issued for Osage County in Oklahoma when the National Weather Service said a “large and destructive tornado” that was causing catastrophic damage was moving toward Barnsdall.Video from FOX Weather storm trackers showed significant damage to buildings in the area after the powerful storm moved through and made its way toward the community of Bartlesville.Significant damage was also reported there, with Bartlesville officials saying in a Facebook post that first responders worked to rescue people who were trapped at a Hampton Inn. DOWNLOAD THE FREE FOX WEATHER APPMatthew Macedo said he was in the hotel when the storm rolled through and went to the lowest level of the facility when the tornado sirens sounded.He said he and the other hotel guests crammed into an interior room for safety, and that’s when the tornado hit.Other hotel guests were trapped in their rooms on the second floor because debris blocked the stairway to escape.Major damage was also reported to medical facilities and in residential areas in northeast Bartlesville.In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said he has directed resources to the area to aid in recovery operations and that he would travel to the Barnsdall area later in the day on Tuesday to tour storm damage.HOW TO WATCH FOX WEATHEROsage County Emergency Management officials confirmed to FOX Weather that at least one person was killed when the tornado cut through Barnsdall.In addition, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said it received reports that 30-40 homes were damaged in town, and a natural gas leak was also reported.Several roads also needed to be closed due to massive amounts of debris in roadways, and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol was reportedly helping with rescue efforts.Tornado survivor Joy King said the storm hit “all of a sudden,” and she felt pressure in her ears that started to grow more intense. She said the door of the storm cellar she was in blew open and debris flew into the air. “I even had it latched to a bolt in the floor,” she said, “And it just ripped it off.”King said she huddled in the corner with her dog for about a half-hour and even considered leaving, but her husband alerted her to another incoming storm, so she stayed where she was.”We’re alive,” she said. “Thank God, we’re alive.”NIGHTTIME TORNADOES FAR MORE LIKELY TO TURN DEADLY THAN DAYTIME ONESThe town of Minden in Iowa, which was hit hard by a tornado during the late-April severe weather outbreak, appears to have been hit again on Monday night. According to a storm report from the National Weather Service, a tornado was reported a few miles northeast of town, with damage being reported to a home and power lines.In a news release, Pottawattamie County officials said that early assessments showed seven properties and a hog confinement area were impacted by the possible tornado on Monday night, but so far no injuries have been reported.Officials said the National Weather Service had survey teams out in the area to investigate the damage.Damage and giant hail was also reported in Kansas, with utility poles being snapped by the severe weather near McPherson. Hail up to softball-sized was reported near the town of Dickenson.Video recorded in Great Bend, Kansas, showed hail falling during severe thunderstorms that impacted the region on Monday.In Nebraska, barns were also reportedly damaged near Pauline, and an outbuilding was damaged near Wymore.MAY IS PEAK MONTH FOR TORNADOES IN USWidespread damage was also reported in Missouri when the extreme weather ripped across the state early Tuesday morning.The National Weather Service said it received more than three dozen storm reports in the greater Kansas City area alone, with winds gusting to as high as 50 or 60 mph and knocking down trees and power lines.According to those reports, one tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 east of Kansas City was flipped over near Blue Springs.Other damaging wind gusts were reported in and around Springfield and Joplin in southwestern Missouri.Video recorded in Franklin County, Missouri, showed a pub that had been heavily damaged when a tornado tore through the town of Sullivan early Tuesday morning.At 3:30 a.m. CDT, a radar-confirmed Tornado Warning was in effect for Franklin County, as well as Crawford and Washington counties.The National Weather Service had teams in those communities on Tuesday and confirmed damage consistent with an EF-1 tornado that had winds of 100 mph.The National Weather Service said another tornado touched down in the city of Bourbon in Crawford County and was rated an EF-0 with winds of 80 mph.Tens of thousands of power outages were also reported as the severe weather moved through. As of Tuesday morning, PowerOutage.us was reporting more than 10,000 outages in Oklahoma.The powerful storms continued to move across the nation’s heartland overnight and into Tuesday morning, with large hail and damaging winds continuing to pound communities from Iowa through Missouri and into Arkansas.It was an intense night for forecasters, too, while the severe weather swept across the region.Hundreds of storm reports were received by the National Weather Service on Monday and Tuesday in nine states from Montana to Arkansas.The NWS issued more than 300 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for storms capable of producing life-threatening lightning, large hail and damaging wind gusts.More than 60 Tornado Warnings were also issued, including one Tornado Emergency that was issued in Oklahoma.That Tornado Emergency was issued for the town of Barnsdall, which is where the fatality occurred.And that was only the second Tornado Emergency ever issued by the National Weather Service office in Tulsa.The multiday severe weather threat is expected to continue on Tuesday and Wednesday as the storms march eastward across the U.S.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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