At Least 5 Killed in Historic Midwest Weather Event

At least five people were killed Wednesday as a very strong and unusual storm system for December hit the Midwest with hurricane-force winds.

After a day that easily broke high temperature records in several states, strong storms developed that produced tornadoes and destructive straight-line winds.

Tornadoes were reported from Nebraska into Wisconsin. If the National Weather Service confirms a tornado did in fact touch down in southern Minnesota, it will be that state’s first December tornado on record.

The dangerous and destructive line of storms developed in parts of Nebraska and Kansas and raced northeastward. This line produced numerous reported tornadoes and wind gusts between 60-90 mph.

In southeastern Minnesota near Rochester, a 65-year-old man was reported dead after a large tree fell on him while he was outside his home smoking. Relatives were sheltered in the basement of the home at the time due to an active tornado warning.

The extremely high winds led to reported dust storms in southwestern Kansas. The blowing dust created near zero visibility and led to two separate car crashes that killed three people. And in eastern Iowa, strong winds caused a semi truck to blow over onto its side, killing the driver.

Many communities remain without power as clean-up efforts continue.

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