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Another day on the Plains: storms, flash floods, twister danger

The seemingly relentless wave of severe weather striking Oklahoma and other Southern Plains states was threatening again on Wednesday.

A risk of severe thunderstorms was forecast from eastern New Mexico and Colorado, across Oklahoma and parts of Texas and Kansas to Arkansas and southern Missouri, according to weather.com.

Additionally, flood warnings were in effect in the Mississippi Valley from northern Illinois to Louisiana.

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While the tornado risk appeared to be lower than it was when powerful twisters plagued the area, particularly Oklahoma, weather.com forecasters said pockets of large hail and damaging wind gusts were a concern in the Plains.

Early Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm warnings for several counties in north-central Oklahoma and south-central Kansas, with severe thunderstorm watches in effect in surrounding areas.

Oklahoma was under flash-flood watches across much of its south-central region, with 2 to 4 inches of additional localized rain expected to fall Wednesday and Thursday on the already drenched soil, the weather service said.

Oklahoma City and its suburbs of Moore and El Reno – both devastated by recent tornadoes -- were among the areas under flash-flood watches.

Oklahoma City and Reno were under severe thunderstorm watches. The weather service said some tornadoes were possible.

The forecasts came as Oklahoma City and its suburbs continued to dig out from devastating storms, including Friday’s El Reno tornado that was believed to be the largest on record in the United States, stretching 2.6 miles across.

The EF-5 tornado, with winds well over 200 mph, and resulting flooding left 19 people, including six children dead, the Oklahoma Department of Health said.

That came less than two weeks after a tornado killed 24 people in Moore. The storms prompted Oklahoma’s Gov. Mary Fallin to declare a state of emergency in 41 counties.

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