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Severe Storms Batter Midwest, Tornadoes Spotted in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio

Severe storms continue to wreak havoc across the Midwest, following a deadly tornado that struck a small Oklahoma town. On Tuesday, tornadoes were spotted in southwestern Michigan, northern Indiana, and northwestern Ohio, with forecasters warning that the storms could last late into the night. This outbreak of severe weather is part of a global trend that includes devastating flooding in Brazil and a brutal heatwave in Asia.

The Storm Prediction Center reported 17 tornadoes in the central part of the United States between Monday evening and early Tuesday. Eight of these tornadoes occurred in Oklahoma, with others spotted in Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The town of Barnsdall in Oklahoma was hit particularly hard by the tornado. This was the second tornado to strike Barnsdall in five weeks, causing significant damage to homes and infrastructure. The mayor of Barnsdall, Johnny Kelley, expressed the difficulty of the situation, highlighting that this is a small community where he knows 75% to 80% of the people. One person lost their life in the storm, and another individual is currently missing.

Aerial videos captured the destruction in Barnsdall, showing well-built homes reduced to rubble and damaged structures still standing. Vehicles were tossed around, power lines were downed, and trees were stripped of their limbs and bark. The storm also caused extensive damage to a wax manufacturing facility in the area.

First responders rescued around 25 people, including children, from collapsed buildings. Fortunately, only a small number of individuals sustained injuries. The Barnsdall Nursing Home had to evacuate its residents due to a gas leak that could not be turned off because of storm damage. However, all residents were accounted for and unharmed.

Governor Kevin Stitt visited the devastated areas and confirmed that the tornado had wind speeds of up to 200 mph. He announced that $45 million would be allocated from this year’s budget to assist storm-damaged communities. Despite the destruction, Stitt expressed confidence in the resilience of Oklahomans and their ability to rebuild.

The storms in Oklahoma occurred while other areas, such as Sulphur and Holdenville, were still recovering from a previous tornado that claimed four lives and left thousands without power. The Plains and Midwest regions have experienced a significant number of tornadoes this spring, with Oklahoma and Kansas being under a high-risk weather warning on Monday. The last time such a warning was issued was in March 2023, during a massive storm system that affected parts of the South and Midwest.

Looking ahead, the entire week is expected to bring stormy weather to various parts of the United States. The eastern US and the South, including cities like Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, are likely to be heavily affected. However, the weather should clear up over the weekend.

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