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Fatalities reported in Missouri as tornado threat torments US

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(NEW YORK) — Communities across the United States — from small towns to big cities — were on alert for tornadoes on Wednesday, as a major storm system sweeps through areas still reeling from devastating twisters.

There were an unspecified number of injuries and fatalities confirmed in Missouri’s Bollinger County after a tornado hit the Glenallen area, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

At least nine other tornadoes had already been reported across Iowa and Illinois, including a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” that touched down near Canton, Illinois, on Tuesday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

On Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The cities of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Detroit were included in the watch areas, where forecasters said conditions will be favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. People were warned to seek shelter.

As the storm continues to move east, severe weather is in the forecast for a vast area — from western Texas to western New York. Cities in the bull’s-eye for damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes on Wednesday include Memphis, Louisville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland, according to the latest forecast.

The forecast comes just days after a powerful storm system unleashed violent tornadoes and severe thunderstorms across the country, killing at least 32 people and leaving thousands without power.

The National Weather Service has confirmed at least 81 tornadoes touched down in 14 states on March 31 and April 1. It was the largest single tornado outbreak to hit the U.S. in a year, since the one that spawned 140 twisters in southeastern states — from Texas to Maryland — on April 12-13, 2020.

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