Twisters Spotted, 8 Dead as Nation's Midsection Prepares for Severe Storms

IMAGE: Colorado funnel cloud
Funnel cloud Monday in Peetz, Colorado.KUSA-TV

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By Tim Stelloh

Funnel clouds and twisters swept through Nebraska and Colorado on Monday as several other states in the country's mid-section — including flood-battered Texas — prepared for potentially powerful wind gusts, hail and heavy rain.

The forecast came after a "siege of severe thunderstorms," as The Weather Channel described it, washed out bridges, swamped homes and left at least nine people dead in Texas since Friday.

Rescue workers found the eighth victim, a woman in her 30s, Monday night in Barton Springs, Texas, the Austin-Travis County Emergency Management Service said. She was reported to have been seen entering a water-choked tunnel but never came out, the agency said.

Earlier Monday, a 16 year-old boy working with a church cleanup crew in Brenham, northwest of Houston, was killed when a pine tree limb that had broken during the recent round of storms fell on him, authorities said.

Meanwhile, rescue workers were still searching for another person in Kansas.

Monday's bad weather watch stretched from Southwest Texas to North Dakota. Parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas were under severe thunderstorm watches well into the evening.

Funnel cloud Monday in Peetz, Colorado.KUSA-TV

Video from Peetz, Colorado and nearby Sidney, Nebraska, showed massive funnel clouds Monday churning across a dirt road and fields. No injuries were reported, but a barn in Colorado was destroyed, and a home had its door blown off, the Logan County Sheriff's Office said.

Golf ball-size hail was reported in Pennington County, South Dakota, according to The Weather Channel's chief meteorologist, Greg Forbes, and smaller hail was seen in Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa.

For Texas, the wet weather predictions will continue through the week: According to The Weather Channel, as much as 5 inches of rain is expected in central and northern sections of the state Tuesday through Friday.

Alex Johnson contributed.