Several states facing weather concerns

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Giant Hail in Texas
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Several states facing weather concerns
Denton County hit hard by hail storm this afternoon. VIDEO of damaged cars at TWU campus: http://t.co/nyUZEoWZvf http://t.co/VwAVTpUiQ4
About 80 mi E of Kansas City around 5pm CDT. RT @fox4wx: Baseball sized #hail near #SlaterMO from Allison Foster http://t.co/DyQW0iomBt
Oh my RT @TWCBreaking: #Hail up to 3.5 inches diameter in Denton TX bout 3:45p. More here http://t.co/o6tsE5jzfI http://t.co/uicL2EhiP9
Picture: MT @jamesaydelott: #Hail core and 60-70mph wind approaching @michaelseger near Leach, OK #okwx http://t.co/JfURIltTL4
Time for baseball practice MT: @DFWscanner: Several hail stones collected from the NE portion of Denton. http://t.co/ZVOipDy63y #TXwx
Randy in Denton. Golf ball sized hail. Tune in for live coverage. @RandyMacNBC5 @nbcdfw http://t.co/MUwFz9WvLD
we have some hail in Lincoln Park. Hide yo kids,hide yo wife,and hide yo husband cuz it's hailin on erybody out here http://t.co/cog9bV1zbA
Another line of storms moving across Denton Co... Storms in the SW Fort Worth moving NE w/quarter size hail reported http://t.co/cmYDiyevUm
Yikes!! #TXwx #severe MT @RickMitchellWX RT @mbish95 "@AzureLikeIt: @NBCDFW hail in Denton http://t.co/8iNjypvU8E"
W. Washington County (Cincinnati) got some large hail about 6:30 pm. @NWStulsa #arwx #5wx Looks like about 1.5 in http://t.co/u7Qb3Pc6IV
Baseball sized hail in Denton, Texas has caused extensive damage... http://t.co/IeFNT9AJbQ [Wonder if that's how the town got its name...]
The storms moving through Louisiana caused serious damage in parts of TX. http://t.co/FbJ51ZWICL http://t.co/2TeSP0oDO4
Tornadoes and softball-sized hail plagues Texas. http://t.co/CyKAolKxMp http://t.co/sXpO6d9QuQ
#Hail up to 3.5 inches in diameter fell in Denton TX around 3:45p. More photos here: http://t.co/tt1Cmz8lOX http://t.co/XXevKrvm9a
Tennis ball sized hail smashes cars in Denton, Texas; witnesses say it "sounded like gunfire” - @wfaasebastian http://t.co/QmA5wBKErz
RT @kristennic27: @TxStormChasers @CBS11Larry hail damage in Denton, Texas. Baseball sized hail. http://t.co/aIRdzGzkKP #txwx #dfwwx
This is the kind of damage being done by the hail in Texas! http://t.co/NEqjPB1l5q
RT @kristennic27: @TxStormChasers @CBS11Larry hail damage in Denton, Texas. Baseball sized hail. http://t.co/aIRdzGzkKP #txwx #dfwwx
Old Texas nado pic Cody snagged on his way to A&M in 2011 & Coby holding today’s hail. #TexasLife #tbt http://t.co/UElUHxHLWK
A hail storm will never hurt my soobie @subaru_usa http://t.co/nIkyaafJoW
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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.

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