South and Midwest Brace for More Storms After Tornado Strikes

States across the South and Midwest were bracing for more severe weather on Thursday, a day after springtime storms spawned tornadoes, floods and hail across much of the region.

Tornadoes touched down Wednesday evening in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma, tearing the roof off a school and causing damage to homes and businesses, officials said.

No serious injuries were reported, but roads across parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas were flooded and impassable on Thursday, said Gene Hatch, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Springfield, Mo.

In Seminole, Okla., a school, several homes and “dozens of businesses” were damaged, according to Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Emergency Management.

The Academy of Seminole, a charter school, said in a Facebook post that it had taken a “direct hit” on Wednesday. The storm tore the roof off the school’s main building and destroyed 15 classrooms, said Wren Hawthorne, the head of the charter school. A few staff members were at the school when the tornado hit around 6:45 p.m. local time, he said, but they were able to seek shelter and remain safe.

Classes were canceled on Thursday, and the school urged parents and students to stay away for their safety

A line of thunderstorms continued to move eastward across Texas into parts of southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana on Thursday, with the potential for more tornadoes, large hail and 70- to 80-mile-per-hour winds, according to the Weather Service. In central Oklahoma, there were reports of hail as large as golf balls as severe thunderstorms moved northeastward across the state, according to the service.

Flood warnings — including some flash flood warnings — remained in place on Thursday afternoon across much of Oklahoma, southeastern Kansas, southwestern Missouri and western Arkansas. The Weather Service in Springfield said it had received reports of water creeping into basements, campers fleeing state parks and cars becoming trapped and swept away by floodwaters.

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