Powerful derecho sweeps through Midwest, leaves 365 000 customers without power

Powerful derecho sweeps through Midwest, leaves 365 000 customers without power

A powerful derecho swept through the Upper Midwest on Friday night local time, July 19, 2019, leaving more than 365 000 customers without power from Minnesota Michigan.

Powerful winds with hurricane-force gusts swept through nearly 800 km (500 miles) in just 10 hours. 

"The derecho and other severe thunderstorms erupting over the Midwest on Saturday are being fueled by the sweltering heat and humidity surging over a large part of the nation," stated AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

"Damaging thunderstorms were not just confined to the derecho on Saturday," Pydynowski said. "Another cluster of severe weather led to funnel clouds being seen southwest of Green Bay, Wisconsin, as heavy rain has been repeating over the same areas in northwestern Michigan. There have been radar rainfall estimates of a foot in that region." 

Strong winds damaged homes, downed trees and power poles. Kinsman Lake in Ohio overflowed and washed away the only bridge to about 30 homes in Kinsman.

The storms are expected to continue in parts of the region into Sunday, bringing much-needed relief from dangerous heat and humidity which already claimed at least 6 lives.

Oppressive heat and humidity will continue through Saturday from the Midwest to the East Coast, NWS meteorologists said. The Midwest will get a slight reprieve on Sunday as a cold front moves through the area, while excessive heat continues in the East. Severe thunderstorms capable of damaging wind gusts are forecast into tonight across portions of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin into Lower Michigan.

Featured image credit: Meteorologist Jenna Lake

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