At least 80 tornadoes were reported across Missouri, Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas within two days, resulting in at least seven fatalities – five in Missouri, one in Oklahoma and one in Iowa.
The damage Wednesday night, May 22, was mostly focused in Missouri’s Jasper and Howard counties.
According to the Missouri Department of Public Safety, three deaths were reported in the area of Golden City, about 45 minutes northeast of Joplin. Two other deaths in Iowa were attributed to a car accident during the heavy rain near Springfield, Missouri.
Joplin was the site of a catastrophic tornado eight years ago. More than 150 people were killed in that natural disaster.
Local authorities last Tuesday also confirmed two other deaths, including a woman who drove around a barrier and drowned in floodwaters in Perkins, Oklahoma as well as a 74-year-old woman who died after her home was hit by a tornado in Adair, Iowa.
The town of Webbers Falls initiated a mandatory evacuation after two barges broke loose from their moorings in swift water on the Arkansas River last Wednesday evening, eventually hitting and doing minor damage to a dam downriver before sinking.
The Arkansas River approached historic highs while the Missouri and Mississippi rivers continued to rise after days of being inundated by storms.
Flood alerts were raised in the Plains last Wednesday as officials expected another 4 inches of rain during the week.
Part of the storm system moved northeast last Thursday and brought with it the risk of wind gusts, heavy rain, scattered hail and tornadoes.
Make sure you’re prepared before severe weather hits your area. This article from American Survival Guide explains how you can prepare for a twister and increase your chances of survival.