Video: Storms and snow hit Midwest, Plains

updated 3/31/2008 7:59:46 PM ET 2008-03-31T23:59:46

A strong storm system rolled across the nation’s midsection on Monday, dropping damaging tornadoes, flooding roads with heavy rains and dropping snow several days into spring.

Residents in northern Oklahoma County began cleaning up from a twister that touched down before dawn and tore a roof off a house and damaged other buildings. No injuries were reported.

National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Smith said an investigation showed the damage was caused by a short-lived tornado.

Several roads in northwest Oklahoma County were closed by high water. Pawhuska in far northern Oklahoma received 3.88 inches of rain.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric said that several thousand customers lost power and that dozens of utility poles were toppled by high wind.

In southwest Missouri, strong winds collapsed a convenience store and many buildings were damaged with roofs ripped up, windows blown out, and trees and power lines toppled along a narrow path through Neosho.

Newton County emergency manager Gary Roark said no injuries were reported.

Emergency officials said a tornado touched down briefly in rural Lawrence County. It damaged a large barn and some utility poles south of Miller.

The Weather Service was also trying to determine whether a tornado had touched down in Buffalo. Meteorologist Doug Cramer said the agency had received reports of significant damage to several buildings there.

Heavy rains moving across Illinois delayed hundreds of flights. The Chicago Airport System said that more than 450 flights at O’Hare International Airport had been canceled and that delays stretched to two hours.

The heavy rains also brought flood warnings to Illinois. The Weather Service issued a warning for the Fox River at Algonquin and said moderate flooding occurred at the Rock River in Rockton.

Snow also fell across parts of Minnesota and Colorado.

At least one person died and more than a dozen others were injured in a snowy pileup on Interstate 70 on Monday that involved about 40 vehicles near Vail Pass, Colorado State Trooper Gilbert Sullivan said.

At least 16 people with broken bones, bruises and scrapes were taken to Vail Valley Medical Center, and all were in fair condition, said hospital spokesman Don Bishop.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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