Severe storms threaten central US

2017-03-29 22:36
David Perales pulls a tarp over a house damaged by a storm in Rockwall, Texas. (Rose Baca, AP)

David Perales pulls a tarp over a house damaged by a storm in Rockwall, Texas. (Rose Baca, AP)

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Spur - A storm system that has been blamed for the death of a truck driver in the American state of Oklahoma barrelled eastward on Wednesday, putting 21 million people in the central United States at risk for bad weather, forecasters say.

Three storm chasers also died on Tuesday in a collision as they raced toward a tornado-warned storm in West Texas, authorities said.

The storms that struck Texas and Oklahoma brought tornadoes, tennis ball-sized hail and powerful winds, but no widespread damage was reported. It's just the beginning of what's expected to be a stormy week in Tornado Alley and in parts of the South.

Powerful winds

The Storm Prediction Centre in Norman, Oklahoma, said an area stretching from Louisiana to central Missouri, including much of Arkansas, could see very large hail, strong tornadoes and powerful winds. Parts of Texas were still at risk for storms as the system exited the state and a tornado warning was issued for the Houston area.

Forecasters said the storms could intensify on Thursday as the system moves past the Mississippi River.

In Oklahoma, the truck driver was killed after strong winds pushed his rig off the interstate in El Reno, outside Oklahoma City, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Forecasters confirmed a 150km/h wind gust in the area when the crash occurred.

In Texas, the three storm chasers - including two who were contractors for The Weather Channel - were killed in a collision at a remote intersection near the town of Spur, about 90km southeast of Lubbock.


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