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June 7, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Tornadoes Rip through the Midwest

At least 7 people in a rural community south of Toledo, Ohio were killed this weekend as severe weather rolled through the area late Saturday into Sunday. Authorities say tornadoes destroyed dozens of homes and heavily damaged the police headquarters and Lake High School. According to the National Weather Service in Cleveland, the tornado that hit Wood and Ottawa counties had estimated winds of up to 165 mph.

Weekend storms destroyed Lake High School in Wood County, Ohio. Image: Fox 8 News

Wood County tornado damaged from this weekend’s storms. Image: Fox 8 News

In Michigan, the National Weather Service confirms a total of 8 tornado touch-downs this weekend, including two in  Monroe County. Eleven people were treated for injuries at local hospitals, but thankfully there were no fatalities. Monroe County spokesman Dan Smith said severe storms caused the automatic shutdown of the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant on the shore of Lake Erie in southeast Michigan after a key area of the plant lost its power feed.

Residents of the Midwest shouldn’t let their guard down just yet because more storms are in the forecast both Tuesday and Wednesday. Conditions will be favorable for severe storms capable of producing damaging wind gusts, large hail and possibly isolated tornadoes as a low pressure system and cold front move eastward.

Tuesday: Severe weather threat is indicated in the red for portions of the Plains, Mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. Heavy rainfall will also be possible for parts of northeast Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Localized flooding could become a concern as 1-3 inches of rain will be possible.

Wednesday: Conditions will be favorable for strong to severe storms once again across the Central Plains, Mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valley along a weakening surface boundary and exiting low pressure system. The main threats will be strong wind gusts, frequent lightning and hail.

While many are still trying to pick up the pieces from this weekend’s storms, parts of the Midwest/Ohio Valley now face the threat for more severe weather over the coming days. It’s important to always be prepared and to have an emergency response plan established with your family that’s ready to use at a moment’s notice. Guidelines for your plan can be found here.


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