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Several states facing weather concerns



ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A band of severe weather stretched across a swath of the Midwest and South on Thursday, with hailstorms in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas following a small tornado in suburban St. Louis.

Storms slammed the North Texas college city of Denton with hail as large as baseballs, leading to reports of broken windows and other damage. The National Weather Service in Tulsa noted reports of hail up to the size of ping pong balls and strong wind gusts.

Arkansas saw one-inch hail, and falling tree limbs knocked out power in western parts of the state.

Forecasters said the unsettled weather could spawn other tornadoes later Thursday, notably in southern Missouri, southern Illinois, Arkansas, and western portions of Kentucky.

"That's where we think (potential of) tornadoes - some potentially strong - will be the greatest," said Bill Bunting, the forecast operations chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. "This will continue to evolve with time."

Tornadoes, hail and winds in some cases gusting to 75 mph were possible as part of the storm.

Afternoon tornado warnings were issued in central Missouri, but there weren't any immediate signs that a funnel had touched down or caused damage.

No injuries resulted from the twister that hit University City just west of St. Louis shortly before 5:30 a.m., damaging about 100 homes in winds that reached up to 110 mph, National Weather Service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said. That system also carried heavy rain - up to 5 inches in parts of Missouri, prompting flash flooding that damaged dozens of homes and forced at least two water rescues.

In University City, a densely populated St. Louis County area, the city opened a shelter for evacuees. Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency.

Rainfall was heavy over much of Missouri and western Illinois. The National Weather Service said portions of Johnson County, Mo., had more than 5 inches of rain, causing flash flooding that forced evacuation of some homes in the Warrensburg area. Highway T in Johnson County was closed after rushing water washed out three culverts.

At least two drivers had to be rescued from water that swamped their cars. Even a three-person rescue team was briefly imperiled when flood debris clogged their jet skis. They eventually floated to safety.

Heavy rains also flooded some roads in Indiana, and conservation officers say they have rescued at least eight people.

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Associated Press writers Maria Fisher in Kansas City, Mo., and Alan Scher Zagier in University City contributed to this report.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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Sensible April 04 2014 at 1:09 AM

And they all missed Rick.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
ZACK April 03 2014 at 8:24 PM

golf ball and larger hail is the norm out in Texas. I lived just south of Amarillo back in 1986-87 and saw it twice. The new car dealers had hail sales after their insurance adjusters came in. This is NOT out of the ordinary.

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2 replies
lastandtwo ZACK April 04 2014 at 11:56 AM

B een there, done that. Came back from Susanville CA in one of those and was sure my new car would have metal showing, better paint in those days. Fortunately paint intact and so was temper. Mother M

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sube9713 ZACK April 04 2014 at 12:33 PM

I don't live in Texas but was down in Fort Worth when a hailstorm hit - baseball sized hail that time. I think we are becoming obsessed with the weather. There have been tornadoes in the midwest forever - they were reported but not to the degree they are now. This past winter saw the weather people starting to give names to the snowstorms as they do for hurricanes! How ridiculous is that?

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are2900 April 04 2014 at 12:32 PM

They need to make stronger auto glass so if Hail happens hail would bounce off the glass & not land inside of you're cars .

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bdonate764 April 04 2014 at 12:17 PM

some look like posterior teeth ????

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lastandtwo April 04 2014 at 11:53 AM

It can rain in St Louie!! Lived in a new apt with metal widow sills and the lightening hit the outside of bldg and I was sure it was chasing me from front room window to kitchen. Scary... Lived on 2nd floor and the water stayed down around lst floor. Glad to move from there...

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Tom April 03 2014 at 10:46 PM

God is angry at all the right wingers in Texas.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
2 replies
jcgordon45 Tom April 04 2014 at 2:13 AM

I wish I could "thumbs up" your comment more than once!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
vegan Tom April 04 2014 at 12:08 PM

If that's correct then God must REALLY be mad at all of the left wingers because of Hurricane Sandy.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Bobby April 04 2014 at 10:29 AM

HMMMM, Looks like GLOBAL WARMING TO ME. THE FEDS AND OBAMA NEED TO SPEND MANY MORE BILLIONS OF OUR DOLLARS. THEY CAN"T SEEM TO SPEND IT $$$ ANY FASTER. WHAT A JOKE.
BOBBY !~!

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carp940 April 04 2014 at 11:31 AM

Maybe the Hail will knock some sense into them cowpokers!

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dollars4deals April 04 2014 at 7:11 AM

Hail is better than no weather at all.

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tonyatseao April 04 2014 at 12:46 PM

I COULD CARE LESS . MOTHER NATURE RULES ...DON'T MESS WITH HERE U WILL LOSE...

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