The Heat Is Online

Midwest Ripped By Heavy Storms, Tornadoes

Severe weather slams central states, April 11, 2001

Severe weather pummeled central states from Texas to Nebraska late Tuesday and early Wednesday, as a line of thunderstorms damaged homes, businesses, and airplanes.

Hail pelted nearly two dozen TWA jets at Lambert Airport in St. Louis, Mo., grounding the aircraft and canceling thirty-four flights until damage can be fully assessed.

"Unfortunately, we don't have a big garage to park them in and they sit out at night," said airline spokesperson Mark Abels. The hail also broke windshields and dented cars parked in the airport parking lot.

In Fulton, Mo., high winds whipped through one mobile home, while a batch of tornadoes reportedly touched down in Kansas, Texas and Nebraska.

One of the twisters struck Plainville, Kan., causing major damage to at least 25 residences, and minor damage to 54 others, according to Joy Moser, a spokesperson for the state adjutant general's office. Fourteen businesses in the north central Kansas town were also hit, but no one was injured.

A Tuesday afternoon twister caused a bit more damage, demolishing a farmstead, tossing cars into trees, and knocking down nearly 20 utility poles in the southwest Kansas town of Rolla.

Another tornado that touched down in Spearman, Texas, damaged several homes, but injured no one, emergency workers reported.

"We've got quite a bit of damage. It got the [grain] elevator just south of town and overturned two trailer-tractor rigs," said Danny Hendricks, a Hansford County sheriff's dispatcher.

Two possible small tornadoes knocked out power to residents in Elmwood, Oklahoma when the twisters tore through town. The tornadoes hit five homes, said Beaver County Sheriff Bill Cassingham but no injuries were reported.

In Missouri, baseball and golfball-sized hail, high winds and heavy rains caused flash flooding in the Warrensburg area.

"We've had tin roofs peeled off like a can opener, we've got trees on houses and tons of telephone poles are down," said Warrensburg Fire Chief Tony Correia. Officials reported just under a dozen minor injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.