A large, very powerful storm system that moved across the country’s mid-section on Sunday spawned several tornadoes including one that claimed at least two lives in a small Oklahoma community in the northeastern part of that state. Another tornado left a path of destruction through several northern suburbs of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Two people were killed in the small town of Quapaw, OK which is close to Oklahoma’s borders with Kansas and Missouri. That twister struck at dinnertime Sunday, according to the Sheriff’s office in Ottawa County, OK. Quapaw is home to less than 1000 people and it has been reported that the community sustained substantial, heavy damage. Once the tornado struck there, it moved on into Kansas and wreaked havoc in the small town of Baxter Springs which is just a short drive away. Several injuries were reported in that community but thankfully no lives were claimed.
Tornadoes also touched down in several other locations Sunday in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri as the large storm system plowed across the Plains, Midwest and South. The National Weather Service issued scores of tornado watches across the region Sunday. Areas that did not experience tornadoes got pelted by heavy rain, hail and powerful straight-line winds. Forecasters were warning that hail stones the size of baseballs were possible as were winds in excess of 70 miles per hour. In the southern portion of Iowa, winds of up to 60 miles per hour were recorded. Many buildings were damaged due to the winds there including a barn that was blown over. One person was reported injured in that incident.
The Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma said Sunday that the powerful storms that had already struck much of the US over the weekend could put many lives at risk Sunday night into Monday in portions of the Plains states and Midwest. On Friday, several tornadoes packing winds in excess of 110 miles per hour damaged over 200 homesthe state of North Carolina.
The Storm Prediction Center warned Sunday that there is a very good probability that severe weather will threaten people living in the Tennessee Valley area and lower Midwest on Monday going into Tuesday. That part of the country will most likely see rain showers and thunderstorms that may produce large hail and damaging winds. There is also a good chance that tornadoes will develop. In addition to the turbulent weather, there is a good chance of flash flooding in many areas as the system is bringing with it periods of heavy rainfall.