More tornadoes, hail, heavy rain in store for U.S. southern plains

More tornadoes, hail, heavy rain in store for U.S. southern plains

A tornado spins during stormy weather in Mangum, Oklahoma, U.S., May 20, 2019, in this still image taken from video from social media. Clint Lively via REUTERS

By Rich McKay

(Reuters) – U.S. southern plains states face more tornadoes, hail and heavy rain after at least 19 twisters tore through parts of Texas and Oklahoma, but the storm system was not as severe as originally feared, the National Weather Service said on Tuesday.

“More tornados are on the way today, most likely late this afternoon into the evening,” said NWS forecaster Rich Otto, adding that the warnings stretched from Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas eastwards to Arkansas and southwest Missouri.

On Monday, the National Weather Service said the risk of tornadoes in the region was higher than at any time in years. [nL2N22W181]

Local media and officials reported some homes and businesses damaged but it was not clear if there were any serious injuries.

“The good news is that the whole system is not as extreme as originally feared and it is weakening as it moves east through the day, but flooding is still the big concern,” Otto said.

More than 4 million people were under a flash-flood warning or watch through Tuesday, with the areas seeing the heaviest rains concentrated in west Texas through southwest Missouri.

“Some areas could get another 2 inches of rain today, but that comes after another 5 to 10 inches some areas have already seen,” Otto said.

Yet another storm system is brewing and could hit the same southern states later this week.

“The whole area is in the bulls-eye, with more rounds of severe storms possible,” the forecaster said.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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