Feedback
News

Storms Pound Midwest, Plains With More Heavy Winds and Hail

Hail, Thunderstorms and Tornadoes Possible in Midwest 1:21

Severe thunderstorm watches and a handful of tornado watches peppered the Midwest and the Plains on Tuesday as summer storms again pounded the region.

Scattered storms targeted parts of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin into South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, the National Weather Service said. The storms were likely to move across Iowa and Wisconsin overnight, forecasters said.

While a few places were under tornado watches, hail and damaging wind are expected to be the main threat, said Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

"Sometimes it rains so much that the ground can get really wet, and it doesn't take too much wind to knock over a tree," he said.

Heavy rain and 80-mph wind gusts raced through the western Minneapolis metropolitan area, overwhelming storm sewers, NBC station KARE reported. Electric utility Xcel Energy reported that 124,000 customers across Minnesota were without power at 10 p.m. ET.

Many trees were reported down across Minnesota and South Dakota. One of them, in Crystal, Minn., northwest of the Twin Cities, smashed onto a car, but no one was injured, KARE reported.

Elsewhere, baseball-size hail was reported in Beadle County, S.D., while high winds flipped a boat upside down near Annandale, Minn.

IMAGE: Louisa, Kentucky, tornado damage
An overturned truck in the parking lot of a Walmart that was significantly damaged by a tornado Monday. WLEX-TV

A similar weather system spawned a tornado Monday night in Louisa, Ky., in Lawrence County about 20 miles south of Huntington, W.Va., the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

The tornado, which raked a 2½-mile-long area with winds up to 120 mph, left five people with minor injuries, the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency told NBC News.

A Walmart store sustained significant damage, and a fireworks stand was also knocked over.

"It literally looked like a funnel in the sky," manager of the fireworks stand, told NBC station WLEX of Lexington. "There was shrapnel everywhere ... I mean trees broken down, poles were snapping."

Vehicles were overturned in the parking lot of the Walmart, which will be under construction for six to eight weeks, Marty Bishop, manager of the Walmart, told NBC station WSAZ of Huntington. He said he hoped to have at least part of the store open soon.