Damaging storms to saturate Midwest through midweek

A storm system that inundated parts of the central Plains on Tuesday will continue its trek eastward, impacting the Midwest through Thursday.

Rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms pummeled South Dakota and Nebraska on Tuesday and Tuesday night, with widespread instances of flooded roads and many reports of strong winds and hail.

A couple of tornadoes spawned in western Nebraska as well.

Luckily for those in the central Plains, the flooding, hail, strong winds and tornado threat will move on to different area of the country by Wednesday.

“On Wednesday, severe thunderstorms will erupt in the afternoon and evening hours from north-central Texas to northern Missouri,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott. “Heavy, flooding downpours will be the primary hazard north of this area from south-central Iowa to central Minnesota.”

Any storm that fires will be capable of dropping several inches of rain in a short amount of time, particularly in the Midwest. Minneapolis, Omaha and Des Moines are among cities where flooding will be the primary threat.

Residents who live in flood-prone areas should take precautions against property damage due to flooding and avoid traversing flooded roadways.

Storms will be more isolated farther south, decreasing the threat of widespread flooding but allowing storms to strengthen and perhaps produce damaging winds, hail and tornadoes.

Everyone should keep up-to-date on local watches and warnings and find shelter in a sturdy structure at the first sign of threatening weather. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors.

“Storms will shift eastward into the central U.S. and Midwest on Wednesday night, with localized flooding concerns extending as far eastward as Chicago by daybreak Thursday,” Elliott said.

Residents should keep a weather radio or charged cell phone on full volume nearby with weather alerts enabled in order to be aware of local overnight warnings.

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“Storms will regain strength again on Thursday afternoon and evening across portions of the Ohio Valley and central Great Lakes,” said Elliott. “The primary hazards from the strongest storms on both days will be damaging winds, but an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.”

Fort Wayne, Indiana; Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio and Detroit will be in the line of fire on Thursday.

“The storms can cause dangerous conditions for motorists traveling on Interstates 80, 70, 40, 35 and 55, as well as lead to down trees and power lines,” warned Elliott.

Elliott also pointed out that dry weather behind these storms may unfortunately be short-lived.

“Another storm system may bring a renewed threat for severe weather to the central U.S. and south-central Plains on Friday, hampering cleanup efforts and preventing streams and creeks from receding.”