State-by-state look at Iowa to Mid-Atlantic storm
(The Associated Press) – Massive thunderstorms that swept through the Midwest are pushing toward the Mid-Atlantic states. Meteorologists warn that the line of storms could launch a weather event called a derecho, which is a straight-line wind storm spanning at least 240 miles. Here’s a snapshot of what is happening, state by state:
National Weather Service authorities reported several small tornadoes and quarter-size hail as severe weather moved across northern Illinois. Meanwhile, airlines canceled more than 120 flights at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Wednesday night’s White Sox game was postponed, along with Northwestern University classes and finals scheduled on its Chicago and Evanston campuses. Game 1 of the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup series was played at the United Center. Power outages: About 34,000 in northern Illinois.
Several northern Indiana counties remain under severe weather warnings. The strongest storms spanned from Gary to Fort Wayne. About a dozen flights were canceled at Indianapolis International Airport, most of them in and out of Chicago. Power outages: About 30,000 in northwest Indiana.
Weather service officials say two tornadoes touched down in northern Iowa, near Hampton in Franklin County. Another tornado was reported near Belmond in nearby Wright County. Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management officials say at least two businesses and a home were completely destroyed, but there were no reports of injuries or deaths. Power outages: About 1,400 in northern Iowa, near Mason City.
The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has issued a severe thunderstorm and flash flood watches for parts of southwest Michigan and counties near the Indiana state line. Officials say 1 to 3 inches of rain could be dumped on parts of southwest Michigan within a couple of hours.
A storm dumped heavy rain to parts of southern Minnesota on Wednesday morning, including nearly 3.25 inches at Hutchinson airfield. Hail and wind gusts of up to 65 mph were also reported.
Storms left thousands without power early Thursday in the Buckeye State. An emergency management official in Morrow County told The Columbus Dispatch late Wednesday that there were reports of two possible tornadoes in the central Ohio county. Downed trees were blocking some area roads, but there were no reports of serious injuries.
The entire state of Pennsylvania remains under a flood watch through Thursday. Weather service officials say the greatest flooding risk is in the northern portion of the state, while the worst thunderstorms are expected in southern areas. Officials say a standby worker was added at the emergency operations center in Harrisburg and officials had ensured two National Guard helicopters were ready if needed for water rescues.
In Ardmore, stormy weather halted the first round of the U.S. Open less than two hours after it began. Meanwhile, flights at Philadelphia International Airport were delayed an hour and a half to two hours.
Forecasters are warning that the storms could produce damaging winds and large hail on Thursday, and a flash flood watch is in effect through the evening. Federal agencies remain open, but workers are being allowed to take unscheduled leave or telecommute.
A partial roof collapse at a Wal-Mart in Lake Delton left two employees with minor injuries as heavy rain and high winds spread across southern Wisconsin. Street flooding was reported in parts of the village of Boscobel in Grant County.