Tornadoes, intense flash floods, and large hail continue ravaging the US Plains, no relief in sight

Tornadoes, intense flash floods, and large hail continue ravaging the US Plains, no relief in sight

Extreme weather conditions continue to affect the Plains. An intense tornado swept the Bryan town in Texas on May 26, 2016, damaging 60 homes, and completely destroying 3 of them. At the same time, heavy rainfalls induced severe flooding across the state, disrupting traffic, prompting road closures and evacuations across the affected areas. Two people were reported missing, after getting swept away by the raging floodwaters. Flash flood warnings have been issued for Kansas and Missouri, as well.

A tornado touchdown in Bryan occurred at 13:00 on May 26 (local time) near the Wheeler Ridge subdivision near Boonville Road and FM 1179. No injuries have been reported so far. The Green Valley neighborhood, Mariemont community, and homes located along the FM 1179 at Boonville Road were all affected by the twister.

"When I turned the corner and saw the tornado, all I could see was just debris and trees flying. It was just a war zone,"  said resident Don Maxwell.

Video credit: Fox 7 News

Video credit: Breaking Disaster

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), another tornado touchdown was reported near the Wixon Valley on May 26.

Severe flooding affected large portions of Texas, including the southeast Travis County, Austin, Bryan, Washington County, Brenham, Montgomery County and Robertson County. 

Two people went missing after their car was swept away by the floodwaters in Travis County. They climbed on top of the car waiting for the rescue crew when the water swept them away, according to Ken Bailey, the Travis County Fire Rescue spokesperson.

A severe thunderstorm was reported in Austin on the early morning of May 27, and several neighborhoods had to be evacuated due to dangerous water level rising observed along the Colorado River. According to Jonathan Belles, a Weather.com meteorologist, a total of about 50.8 mm (2 inches) of precipitation was expected to hit the region east of Austin.

Two vehicles were trapped by the flooding waters in Bryan on May 26, and 36 water rescues took place in the Washington County. The State Highway 36 and US 290 were closed due to flooding.

Up to 1.2 m (4 feet) of flooding water was reported to cover parts of the Hickory Creek subdivision in Giddings. Numerous accidents due to severe weather conditions occurred along the Highway 290. However, luckily, no one suffered significant injuries.

About 422 mm (16.62 inches) of precipitation was recorded in Brenham on May 26, breaking the old daily rainfall record by as much as 158.5 mm (6.24 inches). Numerous lightning strikes were observed in the Montgomery County, and several water rescues were performed on May 26.

Over 1 400 people experienced power loss in the Robertson County on the morning of May 26 (local time).

Video credit: Breaking Disaster

Another twister was reported in Wamego, Kansas on May 26, adding to the extreme weather incidents taking place across the state over the last couple of days. Damage included uprooted trees, destroyed cars and homes, and downed power lines. A strong hailstorm affected Meriden on the same day, according to the NWS. Hail stones of about 7 cm (2.75 inches) in diameter were reported. 

The Kansas City International Airport was evacuated on May 26 due to the threat of developing extreme weather conditions. 14 000 power outages were reported across the Kansas City on the same day.

A tornado was also reported in the Cheyenne County in Colorado on May 26. Two trucks were blown off the road connecting the Cheyenne and Kiowa counties due to strong winds. Hailstones up to 2.5 cm (1 inch) in diameter were reported near Colorado Springs.

Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Weather Prediction Center

Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Weather Prediction Center

Denver International Airports experienced 107 flight delays due to severe weather conditions on May 26. Lightning struck the airfield at the airport, and plows had to be deployed to clean the area from the hail.

According to the NWS more severe thunderstorms and flash floods are possible across parts of the southern and central Plains over the coming weekend.

Featured image: Tornado near Byran, Texas, May 26, 2016. Image credit: Breaking Disaster

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