COPY-At least 12 dead after Midwest storms - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

COPY-At least 12 dead after Midwest storms

(RNN) - A deadly storm that roared through the Midwest has killed at least 12 people and injured more than 100 across several states, leaving homes and businesses pummeled and without power in its wake.

At least 40 percent of one Kansas town was damaged by the powerful storms. Emergency officials are assessing damage in Harveyville, KS, after the storm plowed through about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The fast moving front that began Tuesday night in Kansas tore through southern Illinois just before sunrise Wednesday killing 10 people near Harrisburg, IL, according to KFVS. The Saline County Sheriff's office has confirmed just three deaths, however.

The sheriff's office said a tornado hit Harrisburg at 4:56 a.m., injuring 100, and damaging or destroying 250 to 300 houses and 25 businesses.

There are reports of tractor-trailers flipped over, power lines down, mattresses hanging from trees and windows and doors blown out at businesses. Harrisburg Middle School sustained damage and classes were canceled for the rest of the week.

The National Weather Service is keeping a list of storm damage across the Midwest on its website.

The threat of severe weather has not ended. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Mercer County in east-central Kentucky until 11:15 a.m. EST.

Its website reported Doppler radar indicated the severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado located near Bearwallow moving at approximately 65 mph. It recommended people in the area immediately take cover.

A possible tornado first touched down Tuesday night in Harveyville, KS, destroying half the town and injuring at least nine people. KCTV reports that numerous homes, a church and an apartment building were damaged.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback declared a State of Emergency for the town.

In Buffalo, MO, a small town 35 miles north of Springfield, MO, one person was killed in a trailer park, and 13 people were injured.

The storm continued east, slamming into downtown Branson, MO, at about 1 a.m., hitting that city's entertainment and theater district, according to The Associated Press.

"The theater next to me kind of exploded. It went everywhere. The hotels on the two sides of me lost their roofs. Power lines are down. Windows are blown out," John Moore told the AP. "There's major, major destruction. There has to be millions dollars of damage all down the strip."

The AP also reports that 32 people were treated in Skagg Regional Medical Center in Branson, MO, mostly for cuts and bruises. No one was killed.

In Stoddard County, MO, Sheriff Cark Hefner told KFVS that several mobile homes were destroyed – displacing one about 200 feet - and two people were airlifted to a hospital in Cape Girardeau, MO, where one man died.

The storm then moved into the Ohio River Valley, with sightings of funnel clouds in Kentucky and reports of storm damage, including in Hardin County near Elizabethtown. Homes have been damaged in  Madisonville, KY, according to WFIE.

According to WAVE, a funnel cloud was seen near Hodgenville, KY, and some damage is reported. Currently, there is a tornado warning in Washington and Marion counties, KY. 

In Newburgh, IN, the historic downtown received some damage, but no one was injured.

The severe weather also took a swipe at northern Oklahoma where trailers were flipped and a wall cloud was sighted; as well as hail in northern Arkansas, the AP reports.

In the upper Midwest, snow and wintry conditions are blanketing cities in the upper Midwest, including the Dakotas, Minnesota and Michigan.

The National Weather Service predicts that severe weather – which includes the possibility of tornadoes – is expected over portions of the Tennessee Valley to the South Appalachians today through early tonight. The areas that will most likely be affected include northern parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, southern and eastern Kentucky, western North Carolina and most of Tennessee.

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