The major storms that barreled across the Plains and Midwest this week were moving east on Thursday, and are expected to bring downpours to a stretch of the country from New York to South Carolina.
Storms should weaken after a tornado that slammed into Missouri on Wednesday caused at least five deaths. Tornadoes were also reported in nearby states, including Illinois and Iowa, less than a week after dozens of tornadoes impacted swaths of the Midwest and South.
A few severe storms are possible in the mid-Atlantic on Thursday, and damaging thunderstorm gusts and large hail are the primary threats, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Flooding is also possible in parts of the South on Thursday, and a flood watch is in effect in parts of Texas and Louisiana. Farther north, blizzard conditions that have been impacting the Dakotas and nearby areas were tapering off Thursday.
Storms have spawned scores of tornadoes, mainly in the South and Midwest, that have killed more than 60 people this year. Just last weekend, confirmed or suspected tornadoes laid waste to neighborhoods across a broad swath of the country.
►The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch Thursday afternoon for portions of Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, along with the District of Columbia.
►In Kentucky, preliminary findings on Thursday indicated that tornadoes struck the Pleasure Ridge Park and Newburg sections of Louisville. The storm toppled trees and power lines and tore the roof off an apartment building.
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Cleanup underway after deadly Missouri tornado
The Missouri tornado touched down around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, tearing through a rural area of Bollinger County, about 100 miles south of St. Louis. Five people were killed and at least five more were injured as trees were uprooted, homes were destroyed, and one building was flipped on its side.
State Highway Patrol Superintendent Eric Olson said 12 buildings were destroyed and dozens more damaged, most around the village of Glen Allen.
Charles Collier, 61, said he saw the coroner’s van drive by with its lights on in Glen Allen, where he owns a storage facility.
“That was a sad, sad sight – knowing there was bodies in there,” said Collier. “I was just numb, thinking about all these other people, what they’re going through.”
The five people who were killed were inside a mobile home or adjacent camper that were obliterated, authorities said Thursday.
Houston, New Orleans could see flash flooding
Up to 8 inches of rain could overwhelm localized areas of southeastern Texas and northern Louisiana amid a line of thunderstorms that will last through Friday, AccuWeather warns.
Houston, College Station, New Orleans and Baton Rouge are among cities where drivers should be cautious of water that ponds on roadways and low-lying spots. Smaller creeks and streams may overflow their banks. A flood watch is in effect through Saturday morning in parts of Louisiana and Texas.
“You’ve got some strong storms developing in the metro area (Friday),” WDSU-TV New Orleans meteorologist Margaret Orr warned. “So if you have to drive, it could be an issue right here in the city.”
Severe storms reach the East Coast
Cities that could see severe weather Thursday include Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Virginia; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Houston; and San Antonio, the Storm Prediction Center said.
Threats from tornadoes will be much less likely on Thursday compared to earlier this week, but the storms are still expected to bring damage and disrupt travel in the area. Residents can expect downpours alongside hail and wind gusts of up to 60 mph.
The states expected to be impacted Thursday include:
- New York
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- West Virginia