Just as weather experts predicted, dozens of tornadoes were reported Saturday across the U.S. as large hailstones the size of baseballs broke windows and ripped siding off of homes in Nebraska. One tornado did damage to a hospital in Iowa in the town of Creston.
Dozens of tornadoes were reported in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The number of twisters is thought to be around sixty. Baseball size hail pounded portions of northeastern Nebraska, causing widespread damage to automobiles, homes and businesses. The National Weather Service is warning residents in the Midwest to listen to local weather reports as the massive, powerful storm system moves in a northeastwardly direction out of the Plains states. Fast moving twisters are expected to touch down overnight Saturday and into Sunday – which is a very perilous time for people as they may not hear warnings.
At least ten people in Norman, Oklahoma sought medical treatment Saturday when a tornado ripped through that town, tearing roofs off homes, ripping up telephone poles and shredding trees. At least one hundred people were staying at local shelters there.
This is only the 2nd time in history that the Storm Prediction Center has put out a high-risk warning over one day in advance. The first time was in April of ’06 when up to one hundred twisters tore across the southeastern portion of the United States, killing twelve people and damaging over one thousand homes in the state of Tennessee.
Last month, the National Weather Service started using terms like “mass devastation” and “unsurvivable” in the warnings it issues. This is being done to make people sit up and take notice when severe weather and the possibility of tornadoes is likely. As the tornadoes peppered the landscape across the country’s midsection Saturday, tens of thousands of people took cover.
This spring is going to be a very active tornado season in the United States. The season runs on average from the first of April through June and already the country has seen dozens and dozens of twisters touch down. No one is immune from tornadoes as one can strike anywhere at anytime. Those living in high-risk regions of the country are being reminded to take local storm watches and warnings seriously. You often only have a few short minutes to take cover in a basement or inside room by the time a tornado warning is issued.