The US National Weather Service (NWS) warned that a violent tornado formed over Jefferson City (Missouri) at approximately 23:47 (local time) on Wednesday, May 22. Officials issued a tornado emergency for Jefferson City, Holts Summit, and Wardsville until 00:30 on Thursday, May 23, as the tornado moved northeast at 64 kph (40 mph). According to social media reports, Jefferson City may have suffered significant damage from the storm, including collapsed buildings and flash flooding. Emergency responders are reportedly being deployed throughout the city. Details are still emerging
Earlier on Wednesday night, a tornado killed at least three people in the Golden City area of southwest Missouri. Local safety officials also confirmed that a tornado injured several people in Carl Junction. Additional details will likely be released in the coming hours as recovery efforts continue in the area.
Heavy rains are expected from Oklahoma to Illinois states through at least Thursday evening, where many waterways have surpassed flood stage. The severe weather threat is forecast to move into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions by Thursday night, where hail, heavy rain, and isolated tornadoes are forecast. Widespread transportation disruptions (including flight delays and cancelations) and power outages are to be expected in affected areas.
Heavy rains, high winds, and tornadoes left four people killed - including two in Missouri state, one in Oklahoma state, and one in Iowa state - as weather officials observed nearly 60 tornadoes in the Great Plains and Midwest regions on May 20-21.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. road closures, evacuations), anticipate power outages and transportation disruptions, including dangerous driving conditions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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