Fifty-seven million people in tornado storm zone as giant hail, destructive winds and flash flooding possible

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — There have been at least 21 confirmed tornadoes across Tennessee, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska since Monday with the number expected to rise as additional surveys continue on Thursday.

Tuesday alone had 20 reported tornadoes across five states — Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Arkansas — with more surveys expected to take place later Thursday.

This means, in total in the last two days, more than 40 tornadoes have now been reported across the span of 11 states.

Union City, Michigan, was under a Tornado Emergency on Tuesday evening and was the first Tornado Emergency ever issued within the state of Michigan.

The exceedingly rare alert which first started being used by the National Weather Service in 1999 is issued only when there is catastrophic damage is imminent or ongoing, as is the threat to human life.

Meanwhile, there was notable damage in from Portage, Michigan, located just south of Kalamazoo where a large FedEx facility has been damaged. All occupants of that building are alive and accounted for, according to the company.

Elsewhere, multiple homes have been damaged in places like Fairhaven, West Virginia; Irondale, Ohio, Charloe, Ohio; and Garland County, Arkansas.

There is a Flood Warning for the Cincinnati, Ohio, area until 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday where up to 3 inches of rain fell, closing numerous roads in the area as law enforcement reports ongoing flooding.

Storms are expected to continue Wednesday morning even though a Tornado Watch in parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Illinois is set to expire at 7 a.m. ET.

On Thursday afternoon, a new batch of energy will kick off storms in mid-Missouri and St. Louis and there is a likelihood that Wednesday could be the third day of a multi-day tornado outbreak, the fourth such event in a just the span of a month.

The energy from this storm will likely create numerous severe thunderstorms over a widespread area throughout the afternoon and evening hours from Texas to the Ozarks to the Ohio River Valley to the Mid-Atlantic.

There is a moderate risk — 4 out of 5 on the severe scale — for an area from just east of Springfield, Missouri to Nashville, Tennessee with strong tornadoes possible there. They are also possible outside of this area with an enhanced risk of 3 out of 5, but this moderate risk is mainly for the increased risk for giant hail and destructive winds.

The moderate risk includes the city of Mayfield, Kentucky — the site of the December 2021 deadly tornado with 57 deaths — the deadliest since Joplin, Missouri in 2011. No other tornado has had as many deaths since 2021.

Major metros in the path of potentially damaging storms Wednesday include St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Springfield in Missouri and Little Rock.

Additionally, flood watches are already out for multiple states in the region in anticipation of the forthcoming storms.

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