First tornado deaths of 2014 confirmed as storms crush Midwest a - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

First tornado deaths of 2014 confirmed as storms crush Midwest and South

Funnel cloud and rain in Missouri (Source: ABC News) Funnel cloud and rain in Missouri (Source: ABC News)
(KLTV) -

The first tornado deaths of 2014 have been confirmed. East Texans weren’t the only ones preparing for severe weather. Cities across the country are dealing with tornados, wind, and heavy rain.

KLTV 7 sent weather warnings via phone, television, and web to alert residents of potentially dangerous conditions. Those in other states, like Kansas, saw funnel clouds swirling. One touched down in Pleasanton. And in Topeka firefighters atop a smoking roof put out the fire caused by a lightning strike to an apartment complex. Meanwhile, another funnel cloud was spotted in Kansas City, MO.

Thunder, wind, and rain pelted Oklahoma. Two have been confirmed dead after tornados blasted the state Sunday.

Mississippi braced for similar weather in hopes that awareness could save lives.

"Tell everybody how serious this is. There's absolutely no reason for people not to know that we've got potential for severe weather," Robert Latham with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said.

Tornados in North Carolina left more than a dozen injured, 200 homes damaged, and a baby dead after a roof came crashing down.

In other parts of the country high winds showed their strength. New Mexico covered in a thick blanket of dust with winds expected to continue through the night, getting up to 45 miles per hour by Monday afternoon.

A semi-truck in Missouri was thrown on its side like a toy. The driver, Alan Copeland, was uninjured.

"I was coming through here and it starts raining so hard that I couldn't see the drive so I pulled over to stop and I did stop and after I'd been stopped for about 30 seconds then a gust of wind hit me and that was the results of it," he said.

Even California didn't make it out untouched. A giant tree was ripped from the ground and Los Angeles is under a wind advisory until Monday morning.

As storms move across the country, throwing different twists at every city, Memphis, TN is bracing for flash floods as rain continued to pour overnight.

Warnings to the Midwest and South are to continue throughout the night and into Monday. States of emergency were also issued in several cities that suffered from severe storm damage.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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