Severe Tornadoes Batter Iowa & Midwest, Widespread Damage Reported

On Wednesday afternoon, millions of Americans were placed under tornado watches, and hundreds of thousands were left without power as a severe storm system tracked eastward.

Storms earlier this week ripped across the Tennessee and Ohio valleys, dumping rain, hail, and possibly tornadoes on many states in the US and left a trail of destruction in their wake. So far, there have been very few reports of injuries from the storms that hit Jeffersonville, Indiana, overnight. The most significant number of injuries documented in a single location is ten. Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was flooded on Monday, reported one fatality that was believed to be caused by the storm.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for four counties in central Florida, which include a population of over 6.5 million, until at least 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. Several major cities are included in the monitoring area, including St. Augustine, Orlando, Gainesville, and Jacksonville. Following Tuesday’s devastating storms that swept over the Midwest, footage of the destruction in Iowa was uploaded online.

As a belt of unstable weather slowly moves southeastward, meteorologists have warned that Wednesday afternoon might bring heavy thunderstorms to eastern Virginia and the upper half of North Carolina. Through Tuesday, severe weather was expected to affect over 4 million people in the Midwest, as the National Weather Service (NWS) reported. Thunderstorms with destructive winds and heavy hail were predicted to hit portions of northwest Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas, as well as Missouri and Kansas. Tornadoes were also likely.

According to the weather service, radar suggested that a twister had passed over Charleston earlier in the morning, and video footage taken Tuesday afternoon showed strong winds stirring up debris in the city. According to the governor’s announcement, the storms had knocked out electricity, stopped roads, created floods, and fallen trees.

The storms also significantly impacted parts of Kentucky. On Tuesday night, as authorities attempted to analyze and react to what he called “serious damage,” Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg declared a citywide state of emergency.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service received 16 tornado reports from six states in the storm’s path: Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, and Ohio.

According to two sources, approximately forty thousand homes and businesses in Tennessee were left in the dark on Tuesday morning after a lightning strike damaged an electric substation.