Powerful storms will sweep across Central America

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Strong storms lashed the Plains on Monday, spinning off several tornadoes that killed at least one person, destroyed buildings and knocked out power to thousands of homes.

There is a risk of severe thunderstorms over much of the central and eastern United States from Texas to Wyoming and east to Pennsylvania and the Carolinas. According to the Weather Forecast Center. More than 12 million people in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky are at “enhanced risk” of storms capable of unleashing “very large hail” and strong tornadoes.

The metro areas at greatest risk for severe weather Tuesday are Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus and Louisville, Storm Prediction Center said.

The weather system is forecast to continue across the Ohio Valley region on Wednesday, before expanding into the Tennessee Valley and the middle to lower Mississippi Valley when another strong system arrives, the National Weather Service said.

Developments:

∎ More than 43,000 people were without power Tuesday morning across Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. According to a database maintained by USA TODAY. Among the three states, Oklahoma, hit by storms overnight, there were more than 17,000 outages.

∎ Windy conditions and low humidity may pose a risk of dangerous fire weather across southeastern Colorado, the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandle, and much of New Mexico.

∎ Two school districts in northeast Oklahoma, Bartlesville Public Schools And Barnsdall Public Schools, classes were canceled on Tuesday due to power outages and road closures. Both communities were devastated by a powerful tornado on Monday night.

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On Monday, at least 17 tornadoes were spotted across the Plains, with the most damage in Oklahoma, where several were injured and one killed in Barnstall, a small community about 40 miles north of Tulsa. KOTV reported.

The northeastern Oklahoma communities of Barnsdall and Bartlesville experienced tornadoes that caused injuries, although it was unclear how many were injured.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported approximately 30-40 homes were damaged in the Barnstall area, which was hit by tornadoes on April 1. According to the state Department of Emergency Management. Officials also reported a natural gas leak in Barnstall.

Crews from multiple jurisdictions responded to assist with medical transport, traffic control and search and rescue operations throughout Northeast Oklahoma. Flash floods and damaged structures were reported in other districts. Tornadoes hit Oklahoma last week, devastating parts of the state, killing at least four people and injuring over 100.

According to preliminary data from the Storm Prediction Center, several states in the Plains were affected by tornadoes, including two each in Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota, and one each in Missouri, Nebraska and Tennessee.

The storms formed Monday afternoon and into the evening after the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued a series of severe weather warnings for an area stretching from Texas to the Dakotas.

While there’s no such thing as guaranteed safety, the weather service says there are things people can do to increase their chances of surviving a deadly tornado.

  • Protect yourself from flying or falling debris, which is a major life-threatening hazard.
  • Seek shelter in the closest, safest interior or underground room.
  • Always avoid windows. Do not go to windows or doors to look out.
  • Cover yourself with thick protective coverings such as mattresses, sleeping bags, and thick blankets or other protective coverings.
  • Wear a helmet if you have one to protect your head from debris.
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US Weather Watch and Warnings

National Weather Radar

Contributed by: Dinah Voyles Pulver; Jana Hayes, Dale Denwald, Cheyenne Derkson, The Oklahoman

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