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

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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 12:10 PM
Updated: May 22, 2019 12:10 PM

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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35237

Reported Deaths: 2197
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9978592
Lake3689200
Allen171170
Cass15927
Elkhart138428
St. Joseph130934
Hendricks117773
Hamilton117093
Johnson1117110
Madison59461
Porter54729
Bartholomew52138
Clark51941
LaPorte43424
Howard42934
Tippecanoe4184
Jackson3942
Delaware38540
Shelby37522
Hancock34528
Floyd31940
Boone31635
Vanderburgh2842
Morgan28124
Montgomery24416
Noble23821
Clinton2381
White2389
Decatur22531
Grant21923
Dubois2023
Harrison19622
Henry18412
Vigo1718
Dearborn16921
Monroe16912
Greene16925
Warrick16628
Lawrence16524
Kosciusko1561
Miami1411
Putnam1377
Jennings1314
Orange13022
Marshall1282
Scott1213
Franklin1108
Ripley1086
Daviess9416
LaGrange932
Carroll933
Wayne855
Steuben852
Wabash792
Newton7810
Fayette787
Jasper681
Jay530
Washington511
Clay512
Fulton491
Rush483
Randolph483
Pulaski470
Jefferson461
Whitley433
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen341
Perry330
Brown331
Benton320
Wells320
Knox290
Huntington282
Blackford272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams201
Gibson172
Parke170
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin120
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0175

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36350

Reported Deaths: 2259
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5996279
Cuyahoga4581245
Hamilton2721156
Marion267430
Lucas2282252
Pickaway209237
Summit1475180
Mahoning1456186
Butler91932
Columbiana88152
Stark74398
Lorain70259
Montgomery68816
Trumbull58450
Belmont43813
Warren38321
Miami36130
Medina35623
Tuscarawas3524
Ashtabula34035
Delaware34013
Portage32957
Lake30912
Fairfield3017
Wood30047
Clark2987
Geauga29233
Wayne28151
Licking25810
Mercer2177
Clermont2155
Allen21233
Richland2053
Darke18123
Erie17816
Madison1577
Washington11819
Crawford1164
Morrow1071
Ottawa10318
Greene1025
Putnam9314
Sandusky8211
Monroe7914
Auglaize753
Ross732
Hocking705
Jefferson662
Hardin610
Huron601
Williams551
Union521
Muskingum521
Hancock511
Holmes451
Wyandot452
Fulton440
Shelby433
Clinton431
Coshocton410
Fayette400
Logan400
Preble391
Guernsey362
Defiance342
Carroll313
Lawrence300
Champaign281
Brown281
Highland261
Knox251
Seneca212
Vinton212
Ashland200
Perry191
Athens181
Scioto170
Henry160
Paulding140
Jackson140
Harrison100
Adams101
Gallia81
Pike80
Van Wert70
Meigs60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
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Decatur
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Van Wert
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Scattered Storms Wednesday
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