At least 83 tornadoes reported across Great Plains as threat continues; hundreds of homes damaged

ByNadine El-Bawab, Daniel Amarante, and Kenton Gewecke ABCNews logo
Saturday, April 27, 2024
Over 83 tornadoes reported across Great Plains; storm threat continues
A severe storm threat continued in the Great Plains Saturday after 83 tornadoes reported across Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.

Severe weather left a trail of destruction in the Heartland on Friday with 83 reports of tornadoes across five states. A multi-day tornado outbreak continues Saturday with powerful storms expected from Texas to the Great Lakes. There have also been 33 damaging wind reports and 60 large hail reports.

There is a tornado watch in effect for parts of six states, from Texas to Iowa into the late evening. This watch will likely expand east slightly as the day wears on.

A Moderate Risk -- Level 4 out of 5 -- is in the outlook for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri Saturday, with storms expected to flare up again in the afternoon and evening across a huge area of the country. There is a chance for strong long-track tornadoes as well as very large hail up to 3 inches in diameter and thunderstorm winds up to 80 mph.

In Iowa, four people were injured Friday and approximately 120 structures were damaged after severe weather hit Pottawattamie County, officials in that county said.

The City of Minden was the hardest hit area in Friday's storms, according to the county. Gas and power have been disrupted, and a 10 p.m. curfew has been issued until further notice.

Gov. Kim Reynolds, Pottawattamie County, and the City of Minden have all declared a state of emergency.

Severe damage was also reported across eastern Nebraska, with hundreds of homes damaged in the Omaha area Friday.

There have been 7 tornado reports so far Saturday. One tornado emergency was issued for Knox City, Texas, where a large and damaging tornado was reported near the town with a population of more than 1,000 people. Baseball sized hail was also reported with this tornadic storm.

A tornado was confirmed Saturday near the intersection of Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. The confirmed tornado was 8 miles north of Robinson, Kansas.

There is a flood watch in effect for eight states from Texas to Iowa until Monday afternoon. This is because heavy downpours may dump significant rainfall in a short time and lead to dangerous flash flooding.

All modes of severe weather are likely Saturday.

Damaging winds, huge hail, and long-track tornadoes are all in the cards, especially in Kansas, Oklahoma and northeast Texas. Overall, there is a severe weather threat stretching across the central U.S. from Canada to Mexico.

The threat for these dangerous storms continues into the overnight hours.

In addition to the thunderstorm threat, there is also a flash flood risk with this major storm system.

More than 2 to 5 inches of rain may be falling in a short period of time, prompting the Weather Prediction Center to issue a Moderate Risk for Excessive Rainfall from Texas to Missouri.

"Confidence continues to be high in a major flash flood event unfolding for portions of east-central Oklahoma with higher end rainfall totals Saturday beginning late this evening into Saturday night," the Weather Prediction Center said.

A "high risk" for excessive rainfall is the greatest level threat possible. One-third of all flood-related fatalities occur in high risk areas. It is a rare and serious life-threatening flood event forecast that leads to a high risk issuance.

The National Weather Service will be conducting damage surveys this weekend to determine the number of confirmed tornadoes, as well as the intensity ratings and other details.

On Sunday, the threat is reduced, but still there is a chance for damaging wind, large hail and a few tornadoes from Austin, Texas, to Davenport, Iowa, and includes Shreveport, Louisiana, -- Little Rock, Arkansas -- Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri.

ABC News' Victoria Arancio contributed to this report.