Powerful Thunderstorms Rip Plains With Heavy Rain, Golf Ball-Siz - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Powerful Thunderstorms Rip Plains With Heavy Rain, Golf Ball-Sized Hail

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(NBC) -- A round of severe thunderstorms — accompanied by potentially powerful tornadoes and hail — was raking America’s midsection Sunday and is expected to rumble east as the work week begins.

By Sunday evening, severe thunderstorms — with heavy rain, strong winds and hail — had hit a number of places in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Golf-ball sized hail rained down in Johnson County, Oklahoma.

Numerous roofs and outbuilding sustained damage across the Plains, including a metal roof that was torn off a barn near Chepta, in Craig County, Oklahoma, reported Dr. Greg Forbes, severe weather expert at the Weather Channel.

Flooding caused by excessive rainfall could also be a potential threat, meteorologists warned.

Indeed, thunderstorms and possibly tornadoes were predicted for a wide swath of the country, including parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois, according to the Weather Channel.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said the risk of tornadoes will rise throughout the day, centered in an area stretching from Omaha, Neb., south to northern Louisiana. Some twisters could be particularly strong into the evening.

"The greatest risk for a few intense tornadoes will exist across much of Arkansas perhaps into western and central Missouri," an advisory from forecasters said.

As a strong storm moved through west central Missouri on Sunday afternoon, trees and power lines were reported down. A tractor-trailer rig was blown onto its side on Interstate 70 about 30 miles east of Kansas City about 1 p.m., according to the Missouri Highway Patrol. No injuries were reported.

KSHB, the NBC station in Kansas City, reported that a neighbor helped the driver out of the overturned semi and troopers helped him get a tow.

Power was knocked out to more than 5,000 homes and business in the Kansas City area on Sunday morning, but by evening some 4,100 customers had their electricity restored.

A tornado was reported to have touched down in a rural area near Hume, central Missouri, south of Kansas City on Sunday evening, KSHB reported. It was unclear if there was any damage.

The National Weather Service reported that radar had picked up the rotation of a tornado near Upland, Nebraska, on Sunday afternoon. It was unclear if the twister had touched down or if there was damage.

Tornado watches — which means twisters could develop but aren't an immediate threat - were widespread in the Plains states Sunday, targeting an area from north central and eastern Kansas, western and central Missouri and central Nebraska and southern Iowa.

Even if tornadoes don't form, some areas were already seeing large hail and strong winds that could potential reach hurricane force of 75 mph or higher, forecasters said.

Storms could also reach the Delta region of northwestern Mississippi late in the day.

The risk of tornadoes continues on Monday and Tuesday, although the likelihood of strong twisters gradually lessens, according to forecasters. On Tuesday, however, the tornado risk moves as far east as the Carolinas and the western part of the Florida Panhandle, according to Weather.com.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma City on Sunday morning, marathon runners took shelter as hail and high winds delayed a race dedicated to victims of the 1995 bombing there.

Race organizers delayed the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon by 105 minutes to let a severe thunderstorm pass through. And after 168 seconds of silence to remember bombing victims, the race started at 8:15 a.m.



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