Photos: Severe storms leave over 200,000 without power from Missouri to Alabama

Photos: Severe storms leave over 200,000 without power from Missouri to Alabama

30 June 2018

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USA – Severe thunderstorms tore from the mid-Mississippi Valley to the Gulf Coast on Thursday, leaving an extensive trail of damage in their path.

The storms were fueled by the intense heat and humidity that continues to build across the eastern half of the country.

Most of the damage inflicted was caused by straight-line winds.

However, one tornado was confirmed in Hickman County, Tennessee. The tornado was rated an EF1 with estimated peak winds of 110 mph.

Wind gusts up to 60 mph were common from eastern Missouri and southwest Illinois through western Tennessee and a large swath of Alabama.

At Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, a wind gust of 51 mph was recorded around 5:30 p.m. CDT. The metro area was under a tornado warning for a time, but no tornado was confirmed.

The high winds easily snapped trees and power lines, leaving over 200,000 people without power during the height of the storms.

Nearly 200,000 customers were left without electricity in Alabama alone, according to Alabama Power.

In Huntsville, Alabama, a 70-year-old woman was struck by lightning during the severe weather on Thursday afternoon, according to WHNT News. The woman remains in critical condition.

As cleanup efforts begin and crews work to restore power, intense heat and sweltering humidity will remain locked over the region.

Those who remain without power should spend time in public buildings that have air conditioning to cool down and help prevent heat-related illnesses. Crews working outside will want to wear light-colored, loose-fitted clothing and stay properly hydrated.

Additional showers and heavy, gusty thunderstorms into Saturday may also hamper restoration work across the Southeast. However, a repeat of the magnitude of Thursday’s severe event is not expected.

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