State Watch

Tornadoes reported as record winds blow through central US

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Historically-fierce winds hit portions of the midwest Wednesday, damaging buildings, closing highways, overturning trucks and leaving more than 500,000 people without power, according to multiple reports. 

Wednesday broke the record for the most gusts over 75 miles per hour in over fifteen years, according to NBC News

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan were still dealing with the blustering winds Thursday, and the severe weather killed at least one person in Iowa, according to USA Today.

The severe weather downed trees and power lines, carried smoke and dust over state lines, blew over semi-trucks, damaged buildings and closed highways, news outlets reported.

“Very unusual for December,” Bryon Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told NBC News, adding, “Going back at least 50 years there hasn’t been an event in eastern Nebraska or western Iowa like this in the month of December.”

Staff at Kansas City International Airport had to evacuate air traffic control tower personnel on Wednesday and Des Moines International Airport also suffered disruptions, notes NBC.

Major highways in Kansas shut down as some areas saw in the Sunflower State had nearly zero visibility, according to NBC. 

“If you don’t have to travel, don’t. Stay home,” the Kansas Department of Transportation said in a tweet.

Areas in Jefferson, Colo. also saw wind gusts up to 95 mph, and Denver International Airport experienced flight delays and cancellations.

Tornados struck central Nebraska, as well, and thunderstorms remained in the area even after the tornados quieted, NBC reports. A video tweeted by Nebraska State Patrol shows vehicles being toppled; however, no one was harmed in the incident. 

High winds rolled through South Dakota and Missouri all the way through Michigan, and thunderstorm warnings were issued in Wisconsin and Illinois, the outlet reports. 

Many unusually high temperatures were recorded in the midwestern regions where the high winds struck, according to USA Today, and meteorologists noted that this level and number of storms in the region is abnormal for this time of year.

The reports of high winds throughout the midwest come amid the aftermath of the deadly tornado that struck western Kentucky over the weekend.

Tags Meteorology Natural Disaster Severe weather storms

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