Regions across the Midwest continue to snag headlines as conclusive reports detail damage and fatalities from recent storms. Now, following Wednesday’s historic wind gusts, the Midwest’s most recent storm killed at least one American among ongoing rescue efforts.
According to the New York Post, the confirmed fatality came as hurricane-force winds drove across areas of the Great Plains and the Midwest, gusts toppling a semi along Iowa’s U.S. Highway 151, killing the driver in the rollover. The truck driver’s death comes in the latest of a string of fatalities. Last weekend’s historic storms bowled over the Midwest for the first time, resulting in 85 confirmed deaths.
As per the outlet, the weather conditions arose as the central region of the country experiences “unseasonably warm temperatures.”
The result saw tornadoes touch down in several states within the region, including Nebraska and Minnesota, alongside NE. The storm not only struck up intense wind gusts and tornadoes but also saw winter weather coating areas of MN.
Further, the Midwest has seen an abnormal frequency in tornadoes this last week. Wednesday’s storm saw more than 20 tornado reports come in across various states in the U.S.’s central region. MN even saw a potentially historic tornado that, if confirmed, would signify the state’s first recorded December tornado.
In the state’s town of Hartland, the news outlet reports it might mark the hardest hit location following the storm. 35 to 40 homes have sustained minor damage, while several businesses saw severe damage. Further, several barns were completely blown down, the roofs ripped off of a handful of sheds.
Smoke and Dust Threaten Safety Amid Midwest Storm
While tornadoes, wind gusts, and mass flooding remain at the forefront of the country’s latest natural disasters, smoke from ongoing wildfires and dust from across the United States’ Great Plains pose severe danger to travelers nationally.
Ongoing Kansas wildfires sent smoke hurling over neighboring states as the massive storm swept through. The outlet states the wind gusts carried the smoke north, eventually settling over areas of KS, NB, and IA. The outlet read it lead to a major decrease in air quality, the National Weather Service encouraging Americas to weather the storm indoors.
That said, first responders were stretched thin as calls came in regarding the smoke and ongoing wildfires. The outlet states frequent reports came in as Americans smelled smoke, spiking concerns about new or growing wildfires. The increase in calls marked the ultimate severity of the central U.S.’s wind speeds.
Simultaneously, Seward, NE’s city administrator, Greg Butcher, reported seeing a massive cloud rolling toward him and his office, bracing for impact as the beast approached. Fortunately, however, the administrator said the mass cloud toppled a handful of telephone polls, other damage unreported for now.