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Severe storms stretched across the nation Tuesday, including tornadoes in Kansas and Pennsylvania, while catastrophic flooding puts other states at risk. It's only the latest outbreak of extreme weather that's been plaguing the U.S. for nearly two weeks.
Tuesday's violent weather marks the 13th consecutive day of such severe storms, coming a day after a series of devastating tornadoes hit western Ohio late Monday. That dangerous streak included an average of 27.5 tornadoes occurring each day.
Storms capable of producing hail, damaging winds and tornadoes have hit from the Central Plains into the mid-Atlantic, according to the National Weather Service. Police confirmed Tuesday evening that a tornado hit southwest of Lawrence, Kansas, in the eastern part of the state.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency for the areas around Kansas City and urged residents to take shelter, advising them to seek the lowest level in the most interior room.
The agency had also predicted that tornadoes may strike across the Upper Ohio Valley and Northeast States into Tuesday evening. Extreme weather warnings were issued across the state of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, including tornado warnings for Scranton, Dunmore, Wilkes-Barre and the Poconos.
Leavenworth County, Kansas, Undersheriff Jim Sherley said 24 to 30 homes suffered extensive damage in storms there, but all reported injuries were minor. The storm ran through the communities of Linwood and Bonner Springs, and numerous power lines and trees were down in the path of the storm, he said.
Tornado warnings were issued for Staten Island in New York City as well as Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, late Tuesday evening.
There were no tornadoes reported in the New York City metropolitan area, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center website. New York City's office of emergency management tweeted that the tornado threat for Staten Island had passed as of 10:30 p.m.
An emergency management official in Stanhope, New Jersey, reported storm damage to the outside of Lenape Valley Regional High School, but there was no damage to the interior of the school and the 50 to 100 people inside the building for an athletic banquet were safely evacuated.
Two people sustained “very minor injuries” but refused medical treatment after a light pole fell on the car they were in in a parking lot. It won’t be clear if there was an actual tornado until an assessment is done Wednesday, officials said.
A tornado did touch down near Morgantown in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the weather service said, based on video showing the tornado on the ground, but an assessment still needs to be completed.
Damaged buildings and downed trees were reported throughout Berks County, including Caernavon Township and Morgantown, but no serious injuries were reported, NBC Philadelphia reported.
There were no tornado watches across the country as of late Tuesday, according to the weather service, but northeastern Kansas, parts of northern Missouri, southern Iowa and central Illinois were under flash flood warnings.
At least one person died and 12 others were injured late Monday night after a tornado devastated the Dayton, Ohio, area. The National Weather Service confirmed a "large and dangerous" tornado on the ground near the Dayton suburb of Trotwood in Montgomery County just after 11 p.m.
The weather service issued 36 tornado warnings overnight Monday across the region.
A twister touched down in Pendleton, about 35 miles from Indianapolis, on Monday evening. At least 75 homes were damaged there and in nearby Huntsville, said Madison County Emergency Management spokesman Todd Harmeson. No serious injuries were reported.
Intense rain in Kansas and northeast Oklahoma have strained aging dams and levees, and a reservoir in Oklahoma that drains a massive watershed hit record water levels. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened a large dam to control the river flow, which put Fort Smith — the second-largest city in Arkansas — in the path of record-breaking flooding expected to last all week.
"The whole purpose of a dam is to capture that flood water and not let it run freely down the river," said Preston Chasteen, deputy chief of public affairs for the Corps' Tulsa District. "If these dams weren't in place to control these releases, I think the circumstances would be far worse than they currently are."