A large storm system over the High Plains has wreaked havoc on the center of the country this week and is moving east. At least 4 people are dead and 11 injured in the wake of the storm. Two lines of severe thunderstorms moved across much of the center of the country on Sunday bringing tornadoes, hail, and strong winds with them. As of midnight EST, there have already been reports of 25 tornadoes associated with the squall lines. In addition to tornadoes, there have been 54 reports of damaging wind and 65 reports of large hail. The Storm Prediction Center maintains a detailed list of storm reports
In Plumerville, AR, one person is confirmed dead after a tornado hit a lumber yard and spread debris over Interstate 40. Lumber covered both sides of the interstate and the road had to be temporarily closed. KTHV-TV is Little Rock is reporting:
State police spokesman Bill Sadler said the car involved was traveling in Conway County near Plumerville where a lumberyard was hit by high winds, scattering pieces of wood on both sides of the interstate. Sadler said whether the lumber played a role in the accident is still under investigation, but the car was traveling west on the interstate when it overturned and was thrown into the eastbound lanes.
One person had to be rescued from a damaged home in Perryville, AR. The AP is also reporting:
Garland County Sheriff Larry Sanders said his officers had received reports of other residents trapped in damaged homes southwest of Little Rock.
Debris made the roads impassable for police and other rescue workers in several areas, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Kelly Robinson said. She said the state had received calls reporting destroyed or damaged homes in Cleburne, Fulton and Garland counties.
Six homes were destroyed in Pike County, according to the sheriff's office there. At least two homes were destroyed in Van Buren County. Structure damage was reported to police in the Perry County town of Cherry Hill.
In Clay and Vernon Counties, MO, there were two reports of wind gusts of 80 mph. In Pottersville, MO, two people were injured, four mobile homes were blown off their foundations, and one was completely destroyed. One person was killed in Briar, MO where a home was completely destroyed by winds. There have been numerous other reports of damaged homes and buildings, including 32 homes damaged by a tornado at Ft Riley, KS.
The severe thunderstorms were not the only problem reported yesterday. Blizzard conditions and heavy rain have caused additional deaths and injuries and brought travel to a halt. The :
In the Northwest, nine people were hospitalized, though none seriously, after a series of accidents on Interstate 5 about five miles north of Arlington, Wash. The accidents happened when a wave of rain and sleet blew through the area.
In South Dakota, a man was killed when his car went out of control on ice. One person was killed in a collision involving three tractor-trailer rigs and a pickup truck in Nebraska.
However, the storm is not done yet. Severe thunderstorms are expected today in a line stretching from Detroit to the Gulf of Mexico. As of 11:00 am Central, there is already a tornado watch and two warnings active in Alabama. We a looking for additional watches to soon be posted, including one in central Tennessee and Kentucky, and another for eastern Indiana and western Ohio. Severe winter weather is expected to continue in the High Plains, especially across Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, and northeastern Kansas. Freezing rain will likely be the big concern in Minnesota while blowing snow will create treacherous travel across the rest of the High Plains. However, total snow accumulations are not expected to be high.