Severe storms pounded the central United States on Tuesday producing baseball-sized hail, severe tornado reports and a line of intense, dangerous winds known as a derecho, according to weather forecasters.
Strong winds and baseball-sized hail caused widespread damage north of Omaha, Nebraska, according to Washington County, NE officials.
The severe weather halted flights at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield for hours, which reported hail, strong wind gusts and flash flooding.
Storm chases reported at least eight tornado touchdowns in Nebraska, one in Iowa and another in Wyoming, according to the National Weather Service.
Hail, ranging from golf to tennis ball size, also pelted parts of Wyoming, northern Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota and Iowa, according to the National Weather Service.
Voting in Iowa’s primary election was suspended late Tuesday afternoon in Pottawattamie and Montgomery Counties as poll workers and voters sought shelter.
Winds reported at up to 90 mph tore roofs off of two Missouri Valley, Iowa motels.
A derecho — a long-lived, wide line of thunderstorms that produces damaging winds — threatened the region on Tuesday night and is expected to move east into Wednesday morning, according to AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
“These storms can knock down trees, cause power outages and travel mayhem for the Wednesday morning commute.”
On Wednesday, the storms are expected to move into eastern Missouri, central Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, southern Ohio, parts of Tennessee and West Virginia, according to forecasters. These storms could bring 2 to 4 inches of rain with flash flooding possible in some areas.