2 dead, dozens injured as severe storms continue to threaten central US

Posted at 1:43 AM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 01:43:33-04

A slow-moving complex of storms continue to produce tornadoes, damaging winds, hail and flooding on Thursday, one day after two people were killed and at least 22 others injured by storms in Oklahoma.

There were six reported tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas on Wednesday, with 61 damage reports from Texas to Indiana. The two fatalities in Oklahoma were reported in Tulsa, a 55-year-old man, and Bokchito, a 58-year-old woman.

Heavy rain was also reported Wednesday from Texas to Michigan, with the highest totals in central and western Illinois near St. Louis, where some areas got up to 8 inches of rain.

There was so much rain in parts of the Plains and Midwest that there has been significant river rise, especially in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. Because of all the rain, the Mississippi River near St. Louis is forecast to reach the highest levels since 1993.

The complex of storms is going nowhere and continues to produce more rain and storms. There are flood alerts for eight states from Texas to Michigan on Thursday morning.

Severe storms will ignite once again along our storm track throughout the day on Thursday with two main clusters of damaging storms.

One cluster of storms is forecast in central and western Texas from San Antonio to Abilene, where the biggest threat is damaging winds, hail and a few tornadoes.

The second cluster of storms is forecast in the Mississippi and Ohio river areas, from just north of Memphis, Tennessee, to Cincinnati.

The biggest threat for the storms in Midwest is damaging winds and some hail. The tornado threat is relatively low, but an isolated one can't be ruled out.

The complex of storm systems is not moving much, so the same areas from Texas to the Ohio Valley will get more rain.

Locally, the highest totals are forecast from Texas to Arkansas, where additional 4 inches or more of rain is possible. More flooding and flash flooding is forecast for Thursday.