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Here We Go Again: 30 Twisters, Flooding Lead to Midwest Deaths, and Forecasters Say Brace for More

05-22-2019
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A weather emergency continues to unfold across the Midwest after more than 30 tornadoes touched down across the plains states. Floodwaters are rising across the region as rescue crews work night and day, pulling people to safety.

At least two deaths have now been blamed on the severe weather.

Violent twisters damaged homes and businesses and intense rain brought catastrophic flooding and trapped many in their homes. Five feet of water has been reported in some places. 

High water rescues were underway as first responders searched for the stranded.

In Tulsa, one man was pinned by a falling tree before being rescued.

Parts of I-40 were shut down due to flooding and several railroad tracks were submerged.

Heavy snow melt from the north and significant rain have also led to major flooding in Missouri. 

Missouri's Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency due to flood concerns.

"The very heavy rainfall yesterday and today, combined with saturated soil and very high water levels on many rivers and streams have created dangerous conditions around the state," Parson said in a statement.

The storm system spawned dozens of tornadoes across several states. Mangum, Oklahoma took a direct hit.

"We could feel it sucking stuff out but we had no idea of it," said Oklahoma resident Dale Rogers.

A tornado reported near the Tulsa International airport damaged about a dozen homes.

"I felt like I was lucky to be alive," said Jacqueline Chadwick. "While I was in my room, I couldn't get nobody on the phone. I don't know. Maybe I was in the tornado. I don't know. Nobody would get on the phone. I kept yelling for help."

Some have lost all that they owned.

"We got nowhere else to go now," said one man who had just moved into his home.  "I mean we put all of our money into this house and now we're here we gotta figure it out."

In Wheatland, Missouri, storms flipped campers and demolished a racetrack grandstand. 

And forecasters are predicting the dangerous weather will continue into this week.

"We may get another round of severe weather, more tornado activity," said Joe Bastardi of Weather Bell Analytics.  "We do have tornado watches out in Arkansas, northeast Oklahoma, and that may be spreading into Missouri and Illinois."   

Meanwhile, out west, heavy snow blanketed parts of Colorado.

"Uncommonly cold air, major snowstorm for this time of the year in the Colorado Rockies," Bastardi explained. "They're going to be skiing Memorial Day out there; Denver with three to six inches of snow and the western Dakotas are getting blasted with a snowstorm also."   

Meanwhile, President Trump has issued a major disaster declaration for 13 counties in Missouri that suffered damaged by flooding earlier this year. 

 

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