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Central US cleans up after full weekend of severe weather while bracing for more to follow

By Adriana Navarro, AccuWeather staff writer
May 20, 2019, 5:18:15 AM EDT


After a weekend of what AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer called the worst setup for severe weather he has seen in years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center issued over 50 preliminary tornado reports across the central United States, and there may be more tornadoes on the way.

As of Sunday morning, there was at least one injury reported in Ballinger, Texas, and an unconfirmed number of other injuries in Coalgate, Oklahoma. All of these injuries occurred on Saturday amid stormy weather. The core of the storm that brought tornadoes to the central Plains moved into the Midwest Sunday, sparking severe weather all the way down to Louisiana.

(Photo/Aaron Jayjack)

A twister touched down in a field near McCook, Nebraska Friday, May 17, 2019.

(Twitter/@shortbro32)

A tornado spotted near Minneola, Kansas, on Friday evneing.

(Twitter/@terrellstorms)

A rare occurrence of twin tornadoes touched down near Farnam, Nebraska on May, 17, 2019.

(Twitter/@grantkevin13)

The tornado in McCook, Nebraska, tore through fields near Highway 83.

(Reed Timmer)

AccuWeather's Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer caught a tornado in McCook, Nebraska on video on May 17, 2019.

(Twitter/@terrellstorms)

Twin tornadoes touched down in Farnam, Nebraska Friday afternoon around 7:20 p.m. CDT.

(Twitter/NWSNorman)

Damage survey confirms an EF2 tornado caused the damage east of Geronimo, Oklahoma, early this morning.

(Twitter/NWSNorman)

Damage survey confirms an EF2 tornado caused the damage east of Geronimo, Oklahoma, early this morning.

Damage from the tornado in Abilene, Texas on Saturday.

(Photo/Instagram user Michael Nixon)

Storm damage seen in Fort Smith, Arkansas, on May 18, 2019.

(Photo/Instagram user Michael Nixon)

Trees toppled onto cars after a possible tornado touched down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, on May 18, 2019.

(Photo/Instagram user Michael Nixon)

Several large trees were uprooted after an apparent tornado ripped through this neighborhood in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

(Photo/Instagram user Michael Nixon)

Power lines were nearly blown over in Fort Smith, Arkansas, on May 18, 2019.

(Twitter photo/@ImAHerkPilot)

A tornado-warned storm passed through Abilene, Texas, early Saturday morning, demolishing homes and downing power lines.

(Twitter photo/@ImAHerkPilot)

A tornad-warned storm passed through Abilene, Texas, early Saturday morning, downing power lines in its path.

(Instagram photo/@foxx2487)

A drone captured possible tornado damage in Abilene, Texas, on Saturday, May 18.

(Twitter photo/@ImAHerkPilot)

On the second day of severe weather this weekend, a tornado-warned thunderstorm blew through Abilene, Texas, damaging several homes.

(Instagram photo/@foxx2487)

A drone captured possible tornado damage in Abilene, Texas, on Saturday, May 18.

(Instagram photo/@foxx2487)

A drone captured possible tornado damage in Abilene, Texas, on Saturday, May 18.

(Twitter photo/@ImAHerkPilot)

The gusty, tornado-warned storm that blew through Abilene, Texas, overturned a U-Haul and tore street signs from the ground.

(Instagram photo/@foxx2487)

A drone captured possible tornado damage in Abilene, Texas, on Saturday, May 18.

(Twitter photo/@ckillgore6)

Warehouse roofs were torn from multiple units amid a tornado-warned storm in San Angelo, Texas, early Saturday morning.

(Twitter photo/@ckillgore6)

A tornado-warned storm damaged storage units in San Angelo, Texas, early Saturday morning.

(Twitter photo/@ckillgore6)

Several mini warehouse units were damaged by the time the tornado-warned storm had blown through San Angelo, Texas, Saturday morning.

(Twitter photo/@@punkrockgirl68)

Dark clouds hung over north Texas on Saturday, May, 18, as severe weather rolled through the region.

(Photo/Twitter user @KHPAircraft)

The tornado in Ford County, Texas on Friday night carved a path through the field. (Twitter/@KHPAircraft)

(Photo/Twitter user @KHPAircraft)

The tornado that carved through Ford County, Texas hit a farm, damaging a few of the buildings. (Twitter/@KHPAircraft)

@TimothyChippARN/@ReporterNews

Tree damage from the tornado-warned storm that passed through Abilene, Texas on Saturday morning. (Twitter/@TimothyChippARN/@ReporterNews)

@TimothyChippARN/@ReporterNews

Tree damage from the tornado-warned storm that passedd over Abilene, Texas early Saturday morning. (Twitter/@TimothyChippARN/@ReporterNews)

@TimothyChippARN/@ReporterNews

The tornado-warned storm near Abilene, Texas caused severe tree damage. (Twitter/@TimothyChippARN/@ReporterNews)


Friday

The severe weather data gathered Friday evening confirmed tornadoes tearing through areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center issued about 50 preliminary tornado reports for Friday alone.

Some of the more notable tornadoes caught on video blew through McCook, Farnam and Cozad in Nebraska and Forgan in Oklahoma.

Around 5:45 p.m. CDT, a tornado was reported near McCook, Nebraska. The SPC reported power lines downed, trees damaged and minor damage caused to a farm. Timmer was reporting from Nebraska for the AccuWeather Network and intercepted the tornado near McCook on foot, losing his hat in the process.

The National Weather Service (NWS) later rated the tornado as an EF2. The tornadoes near Farnam and Cozad were rated as EF1s. The tornado near Forgan has yet to be rated.


Storm chasers for AccuWeather caught footage of tornadoes from Nebraska to Oklahoma.

Saturday

The SPC issued a total of 17 preliminary tornado reports for Saturday. The tornadic activity fired up as early as around 5:30 a.m. CDT, when residents of San Angelo woke up to a later-confirmed tornado damaging their homes and tearing roofs off storage units.

Another tornado hit Abilene just before 6 a.m. CDT. A resident in Abilene, Texas, tweeted about flipped cars and damage to a nursing home after the tornado swept through the area. The SPC reported roofs blown off homes and trees knocked down.


At 7:36 a.m. CDT, a tornado tore through Ballinger, Texas, causing at least one possible injury and demolishing a house off FM2111. According to the report, the damage track in Ballinger stretched from the country club to a local high school. The tornado also snapped trees, downed power lines and damaged a baseball stadium and a water tower. There have been reports of flooding in some homes around the area.

Not even five minutes after the Ballinger tornado occurred, another tornado was reported in Geronimo, Oklahoma, at 7:38 a.m. CDT, damaging homes and trees. Area emergency management noted that the tornado may have begun as early as 7:35 a.m. CDT.

A fifth tornado hit Silver Valley, Texas, at 8:39 a.m. CDT, scattering downed trees across roads and damaging a church roof.

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Both the Geronimo and San Angelo tornadoes were rated as at least EF2s.

Around noon, a possible tornado blew through Coalgate, Oklahoma, damaging a natural gas production facility and causing several major injuries due to flying debris.

The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport had canceled over 560 flights and delayed another 515 others by late Saturday evening, according to FlightAware.

Over 100,000 customers were left without power from Texas to Iowa during the height of the storms on Saturday. About 62,000 remained without power as of noon on Sunday, according to PowerOutage.US.

In the afternoon, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport recorded a 62-mph wind gust during the severe storms, and major street flooding was reported across I-30 in Forth Worth, Texas, which the Fort Worth Fire Department looked into.

Nearly 49,000 power outages occurred in Texas alone, and tornado warnings went into effect across Arkansas around 2 p.m. CDT.

Sunday

As the storm tracked eastward , it stirred up a few more tornadoes around 3:20 a.m. CDT in Singer, Louisiana. The SPC reports tree damage along with one falling inside a woman's home.

Emergency management reported demolished gas pumps at a station in Ville Platte, Louisiana, around 5:57 a.m. CDT after a possible tornado.

At 9 a.m. CDT, the NWS warned in a tweet of a possible tornado moving through Tangipahoa Parish. The NWS has yet to confirm a tornado. As the tornado warnings expire, flood warnings begin to take their place as New Orleans is left to deal with the aftermath of the storm.

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