Nightly News   |  June 12, 2013

‘Long and ugly night’ ahead

There are 75 million Americans in the path of a severe storm system that could bring a derecho, which is a group of thunderstorms accompanied by high winds. The storms may stretch 240 miles as they head east, blowing down trees and power lines and prompting flood watches. NBC’s Mike Seidel reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good evening, i'm lester holt in for brian. this is an anxious night for lots of americans from damaging storm conditions in the lower great lakes to the middle mississippi valley to a raging wildfire. in fact, several of them, driving thousands from their homes in colorado. in the midwest, forecasters are watching radar images ahead of a dangerous system of thunderstorms, expected to bring winds up to 75 miles per hour and powerful tornadoes. parts of iowa, illinois, indiana, and ohio are your honor the most severe threat. and while out west, four separate wildfires are on the march, burning homes and forcing thousands to flee. our teams in place to cover it all. let's start with the storm and weather channel meteorologist mike seidel , from under an ominous sky in joliet, illinois, southwest of chicago . mike.

>> good evening, lester, 74 million americans in the path of this dangerous storm system and for the first time in nine years, the storm prediction center in norman, oklahoma, put chicago in high risk this afternoon. take a look, not only tornadoes, thunderstorm wind gusts, 80 miles an hour and a derecho, a huge damaging windstorm that travels over 240 miles an hour. a long and ugly night as storms sweep across the midwest, chicago , indianapolis, detroit, cleveland. trees and power lines knocked out and then danger for new york city , washington, d.c., and could be some tornadoes. biggest threat will be powerful wind gusts. if you don't get the wind, count on the rain. watches up to boston tomorrow, two to three inches of rain could fall, pushing new york city to the wettest june on record and add more water to the hazards already at the u.s. open golf tournament. round one will be try to be played outside of philly on thursday. unlike last year's derecho, afterward we had a killer heat wave . this time, temperatures will cool down, making it more comfortable for those who lose power.

>> difficult night ahead. thank you.