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Deadly storm brings hail, flooding and 132 reports of tornadoes in central US

Powerful spring storms unleashed a mix of drenching rain, flash flooding and hail in the central United States. CNN's Dave Briggs has more.

Posted: May 22, 2019 11:10 AM
Updated: May 22, 2019 11:10 AM

A deadly spring storm unleashed drenching rain, flash flooding and hail in the central United States -- along with more than 130 reports of tornadoes in five days.

At least one person drowned in Oklahoma after driving around a barricade on a road in Perkins, the city's Emergency Management office announced.

A majority of tornadoes were in Kansas and Missouri, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said. Of the total number, Friday had the most tornadoes reported at 39 and Tuesday was a close second at 32.

About 28 million people are under the threat of severe weather Wednesday, mostly in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

Tornadoes and rain

The extreme weather is not just limited to tornadoes.

Parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri had more than three inches of rain in the past 24 hours, and are still under flood warnings, the National Weather Service said Tuesday night.

And severe thunderstorms, large hail and some tornadoes are expected from Missouri and western Illinois, to parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. In some parts of Illinois, the main threats will be heavy downpours, lightning and wind gusts of up to 35 mph, the National Weather Service said.

But not in Chicago, where forecasters had more upbeat news.

"Enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures on Wednesday," the National Weather Service's Chicago office tweeted. "Through the holiday weekend, the warmer weather will stick around, but there will also be periodic chances of showers and thunderstorms through the holiday weekend."

Water rescues

In Oklahoma, the extreme weather was still a concern Wednesday, with the National Weather Service saying it'll continue to monitor the area due to a risk of severe thunderstorms across central Oklahoma into western north Texas.

After the drenching rain, rescuers such as the Broken Arrow Fire Department posted harrowing videos of people being pulled out of gushing flood waters and warned people to avoid flooded roads.

Firefighters responded to a car swept off the roadway Tuesday and found a man clinging to a fence post, unable to get out of the water, CNN affiliate KOKI reported.

The rescue team deployed a life safety rope and got in the water to climb to the victim. They gave him a flotation device and pulled him to safety.

Flooding risks

Storms have repeatedly hit the same areas recently, making the Plains and the Midwest more vulnerable to flooding.

Serious river flooding -- including along the already swollen Mississippi River -- is expected in the central US as more rain falls over the region in the next few days.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67649

Reported Deaths: 1912
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5656118
DeSoto368031
Harrison253036
Madison244368
Rankin229235
Jackson228843
Jones191659
Forrest182056
Washington168942
Lee147941
Lauderdale141192
Neshoba128692
Lamar122614
Oktibbeha112739
Bolivar111834
Warren109533
Lowndes108538
Panola106214
Sunflower105425
Scott100320
Lafayette98317
Copiah95728
Leflore94765
Pike93836
Holmes90049
Grenada84921
Yazoo83312
Lincoln83241
Pontotoc8308
Simpson80330
Monroe80155
Leake79025
Wayne77421
Coahoma77213
Tate73629
Marshall7019
Marion68420
Union64316
Adams62925
Winston62316
Covington62113
George5895
Pearl River55439
Newton54311
Tallahatchie53011
Attala52325
Walthall50120
Chickasaw47019
Noxubee45912
Alcorn4345
Tishomingo4216
Calhoun4209
Prentiss41710
Claiborne40913
Smith40613
Clay39714
Hancock39514
Jasper3889
Itawamba37510
Tippah36713
Tunica3517
Clarke32626
Montgomery3265
Lawrence3228
Yalobusha31510
Humphreys29411
Quitman2701
Carroll26111
Greene25512
Perry2437
Amite2356
Webster23512
Kemper23414
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21113
Stone2055
Sharkey1995
Jefferson1957
Benton1431
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena262
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13258244
Mobile10517207
Montgomery6835149
Madison544734
Tuscaloosa423076
Baldwin365125
Unassigned363064
Shelby330936
Marshall318937
Lee270047
Morgan241118
Etowah216232
DeKalb183013
Calhoun180717
Elmore173138
Walker153964
Houston141912
Russell13872
St. Clair135418
Limestone134913
Dallas133123
Franklin128820
Cullman122712
Colbert120716
Lauderdale118919
Autauga117421
Escambia108717
Talladega104814
Jackson10144
Tallapoosa86579
Chambers84438
Dale83525
Clarke82610
Blount8124
Chilton8097
Butler76736
Coffee7646
Covington73720
Pike7087
Marion58026
Barbour5765
Lowndes57324
Marengo56515
Hale47826
Bullock46611
Winston45711
Perry4454
Washington44312
Bibb4425
Wilcox43210
Monroe4215
Pickens4049
Randolph40310
Conecuh39310
Sumter36418
Lawrence3512
Macon33914
Crenshaw3265
Choctaw28712
Cherokee2758
Henry2643
Clay2635
Geneva2631
Greene25211
Lamar2292
Fayette2125
Cleburne1271
Coosa1033
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