Severe Weather Hits Central U.S.

May 19, 2019
Originally published on May 19, 2019 7:55 am
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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Severe weather is taking its toll on the central U.S. And as NPR's Shannon Van Sant reports, residents who were already suffering from record-breaking floods are scrambling for cover.

(SOUNDBITE OF TORNADO TOUCHING DOWN)

SHANNON VAN SANT, BYLINE: That's the sound of a tornado touching down in Nebraska. posted on Twitter by Accuweather meteorologist Reed Timmer. It was one of dozens reported across the central U.S. since Friday. The National Weather Service says a storm system there continues to evolve, bringing severe weather including tornadoes, hail and rain. In Abilene, Texas, Jim Bryan, the emergency management coordinator, says an early morning thunderstorm turned into a tornado.

JIM BRYAN: There appears to be tornadic activity that dropped down and affected a large area. We have about 80 homes impacted.

VAN SANT: Near Oklahoma City, Ashleigh Hensch of Comanche County Emergency Management says a tornado touched down there on Saturday morning.

ASHLEIGH HENSCH: We have two houses that were completely destroyed almost to the ground, not quite.

VAN SANT: Hensch says county officials are already preparing for another powerful storm system expected to sweep through the area next week. Zack Taylor is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

ZACK TAYLOR: On Monday, we're looking at another round of severe weather. And that one could be more potentially dangerous with tornadoes in addition to the damaging winds and large hail.

VAN SANT: The latest severe weather is of particular concern to farmers in the Midwest, where flooding has left acres of land unusable since March. This year, parts of the Mississippi River have been above flood stage for more than a hundred days, breaking records. Shannon Van Sant, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.