In total, 61 homes and two churches were damaged in the tornado’s path, Blackburn said during a Wednesday evening news conference.
Another tornado — an EF-1 — touched down in Adair County, Oklahoma, Wednesday morning, downing trees and cutting power, according to county Emergency Manager Ray Sallee.
“We lost power in about 75-80 percent of our homes and businesses, but most of that power has been restored,” Sallee said, adding there were two minor injuries as a result of the storm.
Sallee said multiple structures and homes were damaged and that a gas station was “totally destroyed.”
Both tornadoes were part of a the multiday severe weather threat sweeping the country that dominatedthe central US Wednesday, bringing long-track tornadoes, blizzard conditions and fuel for explosive wildfires.
The threat of tornadoes has been moving eastward, putting more than 30million people from the Great Lakes to the central Gulf Coast under some threat of severe storms.
As the system pushes across the country, it brings along a trio of threats: damaging winds, strong tornadoes, and large hail.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation Wednesday for seven counties following a day of severe weather. The proclamation allows state resources to be used in response to severe weather that occurred in Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Humboldt, Mitchell, Pocahontas, Winneshiek and Worth counties Tuesday, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
The most significant threats are expected across Memphis; Evansville, Indiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Owensboro, Kentucky, where more than five million people are under a moderate risk — Level 4 of 5 — for severe weather.
A tornado watch has been issued for central Tennessee; central and western Kentucky; and southern Indiana until 10 p.m. CT,, according to the SPC. The watch includes Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to the tornado threat, wind gusts up to 80 mph are also possible.
A number of tornado watches are in effect for millions of people across the South and parts of the Midwest, according to the SPC.
A tornado watch coveringparts of eastern Arkansas; western Tennessee; northern Mississippi; the Missouri Bootheel, and remains in effectuntil 9 p.m. CT. The latest tornado watch was issued for central Mississippi; northern Louisiana; southeastern Arkansas; and eastern Texas until 10 p.m. CT, as well as southern Illinois and western Kentucky until 9 p.m. CDT.
Overall, severe thunderstorms could impact a large portion of the lower and mid-Mississippi Valley into the Midwest, as well as the lower Ohio Valley, the Storm Prediction Center said.
Elsewhere, parts of Montana, North Dakota and northern Minnesota could see heavy snow Wednesday into Thursday.
“Blizzard conditions are likely with blowing or drifting snow and dangerous low visibility for this area through Thursday,” according to the Weather Prediction Center.
“Travel will remain difficult to impossible, and widespread power outages and tree damage…