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At least 4 people have died and 35 are injured in a tornado that swept through Iowa

Local residents walk among the debris from tornado damaged homes on Wednesday in Greenfield, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall
/
AP
Local residents walk among the debris from tornado damaged homes on Wednesday in Greenfield, Iowa.

At least four people have died, and at least 35 have been injured after a tornado swept through Iowa. Other severe weather events are forecasted this week in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Montana.

The central and northern parts of Iowa first received about 2 to 4 inches of rain Tuesday, causing flash flooding. A cold front pushed through that afternoon, bringing thunderstorms and a tornado that had peak winds of 135 mph, a path length of 41 miles and a path width of 1,000 yards, according to the National Weather Service.

The names and ages of those who died have not yet been released, as their families have not been alerted. The number of people injured is likely higher, the state’s department of public safety said Thursday.

Flood advisories are active in the area until Friday, the weather service said.

Flooding is expected in Texas and Oklahoma

In southern Oklahoma, there is a marginal risk of severe thunderstorms early Thursday that escalates into a slight risk that afternoon and evening. Throughout the day, there could be wind speeds up to 80 mph; rainfall totals from 2 to 5 inches; and hail that ranges from the size of a quarter to a baseball, the National Weather Service said.

Flood watches are in effect in northern and central Texas, as strong thunderstorms are expected Thursday in several cities, from Killeen to Dallas to Paris. One to 3 inches of rain are forecasted in that area, according to the weather service.

Wintry weather in Montana and Idaho

Several inches of snow are expected to accumulate by noon Thursday, in the region spanning western Montana and central Idaho, the weather service said.

In southwest Montana, there is a winter storm warning for altitudes above 5,000 feet, such as the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountains; (cq)those areas could get between 4 and 19 inches of snow. Points above 4,500 feet in Lemhi County, Idaho, could get between 2 and 11 inches.

The snow will likely cause dangerous road conditions and damage to trees and power lines, the NWS said.

Wildfire risk in New Mexico

In much of New Mexico – including parts of the Rio Grande and Chama River valleys, as well as the northern, eastern and central regions – a recipe of high winds, hot temperatures and low humidity could make for “critical fire weather conditions,” NWS said.

Wind speeds could reach 40 mph Thursday, and humidity is expected to be as low as 4 to 9%. A red flag warning has been issued in the area.

The National Weather Service is encouraging people not to toss lit cigarettes on the ground, engage in activities with open flames, drive on a flat tire or park their vehicles in dry grass.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Ayana Archie
[Copyright 2024 KHSU]