Severe thunderstorm warnings as MORE tornadoes, 100mph winds and wildfires batter the Midwest after deadly twisters

Severe thunderstorm warnings as MORE tornadoes, 100mph winds and wildfires batter the Midwest after deadly twisters

December 16, 2021

WINDS of up to 100mph, tornadoes, and devastating wildfires battered the Midwest – just days after a series of deadly twisters slammed the region.

It’s thought that December tornadoes were recorded for the first time ever in Minnesota on Wednesday while severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for parts of Kansas and Nebraska.



Around 36million Americans in total were placed under high wind warnings by midday Wednesday and 48,000 people in Iowa were left without power that night.

Schools were closed early as a precaution and residents were urged to stay home due to the risk of thunderstorms – rather than snowstorms.

At least 13 tornadoes were reported across both Nebraska and Iowa, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist Brian Barjenbruch told the Associated Press: “To have this number of damaging windstorms at one time would be unusual for any time of year.

“But to have this happen in December is really abnormal.”

Meteorologists said that howling winds will be strong enough to increase the risk of wildfires.

Most read in The Sun

CUT IT OUT

Keeper sent off BEFORE kick-off in final after VAR catches sick gesture to fans

DOCTOR'S ORDERS

I'm a doctor and these are the 5 Omicron symptoms you must NEVER ignore

ROT IN HELL

Killer LAUGHS as she's jailed for stamping Star to death – as mum gets 8 years

KATE ESCAPE

Katie Price SPARED JAIL over drink-drive crash that saw her flip BMW

In Kansas, winds reached up to 100mph and ripped roofs off houses, and hurled trucks onto their side.

Over 100,000 people in the state were plunged into darkness and electricity restoration could take several days, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Chuck Caisley, the senior vice president for Evergy, said the storms produced golf ball-sized hail, causing widespread damage.

Homes were evacuated in Quinter while blazes were reported in Russell and Ellis counties.

Eric Metzger, an NWS meteorologist in Wichita, said the two fires had “merged together” into one big blaze, the New York Times reports.

He said: “I’ve lived out here for more than 20 years. This is historic for us.”

Jane Welch, of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, warned that the smoke made it too dangerous for crews to tackle the blazes.

She said the weather conditions made it a “little crazy” in the state.

Winds whipped up red dust, significantly affecting visibility for drivers.

The Kansas Department of Transportation urged residents: “If you don’t have to travel, don’t. Stay home.”

Jaclyn Liberator said: “Visibility was extremely low. There was one point depending on which car was in front of us… like we couldn't even see it was a flatbed truck, and we couldn't even see it was pulling the flatbed we saw only 10 feet of the flatbed so basically 10 to 20 feet in front of us."

'CRAZY' CONDITIONS

Officials in Ashland were forced to shut down the town’s electricity supply for a few hours as they tried to reduce the risk of fire after poles were knocked down.

Gusts of 107mph were recorded in Lamar, Colorado and the Colorado Springs fire service received over 600 calls in just five hours.

Mike Smaldino, a public information officer, with the fire department said their roof had been partly blown off.

He said crews had been dealing with gas leaks, grass fires, and smoldering trees.

And, more than 500 flights in and out of Denver airport were delayed and around 150 were canceled, according to FlightAware.

The wild weather came less than a week after devastating storms hit several states including Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Kentucky was the worst-hit state by far and at least 88 people are confirmed to have died. The death toll is feared to be much higher as crews continue to search for bodies.

Over 1,000 homes in the state were destroyed by last week's twisters.

DEADLY STORMS

At least eight people are dead after the storms leveled the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory in Kentucky.

Brian Brooks, an MMA fighter, said he was at home on Friday night with his daughter and granddaughter when he got a call from his wife saying she was trapped.

After he got the call, he jumped into his truck and headed over to the candle factory to try to rescue the rest of his family.

He managed to rescue his wife and her sister.

Brian told Fox News: “It’s a miracle I even found them. I don’t know how it happened.

“It was like the worst war movie you see on TV. The people that were screaming that you could not see in the dark.

'A MIRACLE'

“I just started climbing and finding people, just helping everybody I could.

“They didn’t think they were ever going to see us again. I’m so grateful… I just want to say my prayers for everybody who wasn’t so lucky.”

During a visit to Kentucky on Wednesday, President Joe Biden promised the federal government would completely cover recovery costs over the next month.

"These tornadoes devoured everything in their path. Tornadoes are such devastating storms.”

“We're going to make sure you have all the help you need.”

Officials warned that dozens of people could be left without heat, water, or electricity in freezing temperatures for weeks.

Efforts have been ramped up to repair power grids and shelter those whose homes were devastated.

The relentless storms also claimed victims in Missouri and Arkansas, including nine-year-old Annistyn Rackley, and Covid survivor Golden Hembry, 94.

And, in Edwardsville, Illinois, at least six Amazon workers were killed when a warehouse was destroyed.


    Source: Read Full Article