Tornadoes strike Midwest; storms to persist


Three new tornado warnings were issued until late into Sunday that included Minneapolis, Minn.; Little Rock, Ark.; and St. Louis, Mo.

The storm caused damage at McConnell Air Force Base and a Boeing aircraft plant near Wichita, Kan. No deaths were reported, but many homes were destroyed. Suspected tornadoes also touched down in Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Oklahoma emergency officials confirmed five people died after a tornado touched down shortly after midnight Sunday in and around the northwest Oklahoma town of Woodward, about 140 miles northwest of Oklahoma city.

The twister caused severe damage to homes and other buildings. High winds toppled trees and power lines and overturned vehicles. The brunt of the damage was felt in the northwest part of the town, which has a population of about 12,000. Search teams were scouring rubble for trapped and injured as the same came up. Among the 29 people confirmed injured, five are listed in critical condition.

The storm system also destroyed about 75 percent of the small town of Thurman, Iowa. No one was injured there.

The possibility of deadly severe weather continues Sunday across the Midwest and South.

The storms were part of an exceptionally strong system that the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. had warned about for days. At the storm's height, tornadoes popped up faster than they could be counted. A center spokesperson said the weather service had received at least 97 reports of tornadoes by dawn Sunday.

Forecasters say the storm path is still vast, stretching from southern Texas to northern Michigan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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