Central and Southern Plains bracing for tornadoes, flooding and hail

(CNN) – The Central and Southern Plains — which have already been battered by pounding thunderstorms, tornadoes and hail — are taking cover before another round of dangerous weather.

A “potent spring storm system” is expected to bring more thunderstorms to the region Monday, the National Weather Service said.

“Large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding, and large tornadoes are possible,” the weather service said.

States like Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas are still reeling from weekend tornadoes and storms.

In the past three days, 52 tornadoes were reported across seven states, CNN Meteorologist Michael Guy said.

More than 55 million people — from the Northeast to the Plains — could see some type of severe weather, Guy said.

Cities including Lubbock, Amarillo, and Abilene, Texas, as well as Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, could see significant severe weather with baseball-sized hail and hurricane force winds in some places, according to the weather service.

Heavy showers, ‘quarter-sized hail’ and tornadoes

In states across the Southern Plains, wind gusts of 60 mph, thunderstorms and “quarter-sized hail” are possible Monday, the weather service said.

In Texas, storms will be ongoing across the Panhandle, with local heavy rain, possible tornadoes, winds and hail. The service urged residents to have a “safe plan in place” for Tuesday, when severe thunderstorm risks will increase again after a brief break.

“Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways,” the weather service in Houstonsaid.

“Frequent cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm,” the service said.“Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorms. Seek a safe shelter inside a building or a vehicle.”

Hail and damaging winds are also possible in parts of Kansas through Tuesday. Up to 3 inches of rain is expected beginning late Monday and into Tuesday, which could lead to flooding, the weather service said.

In Norman, Oklahoma, the weather service warned of flooding which may start as soon as Monday morning, as storms with heavy rain begin to form across the area.

“Multiple waves of storms coming through with heavy rainfall amounts, will probably cause quite a concern for flooding and possibly … significant flooding and flash flooding across the area,” the service said for the area.

“Do not let your guard down on Monday night,” Norman’s weather service said. “It looks like severe storms and flooding will be a big problem overnight… into Tuesday morning.”

‘Heartbreaking’ damage across the Southern Plains

Damaging winds sped through parts of Louisiana Sunday, downing electricity poles and trees and leaving more than 20,000 without power.

“We are very fortunate that there has been no loss of life, but we encourage people to be cautious and follow directions from local authorities, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Twitter.

In Ville Platte, a possible tornado damaged more than 50 homes and businesses, CNN affiliate WBRZ reported. The governor said Louisiana State Police would be assisting local law enforcement efforts in the area.

Further west, in DeRidder, the storm wiped out roofs, barns and trees, CNN affiliate KPLC reported.

“We woke up to the sound of glass breaking, and went in and saw the window in the kitchen was broken,” resident Dorine Bearden told the affiliate.

When Bearden went outside with her husband in the morning, they saw their property destroyed.

“Before, I had always told my husband, it looked like we lived in a park,” she said. “And when I looked out there, that park was gone. It was heartbreaking.”

In San Angelo, Texas, communities are recovering from damage, and in Abilene the National Weather Service said storm aftermath was “consistent with at least that of an EF-2 tornado” with winds of up to 135 mph.

Following the storms, volunteers helped stack debris and hang plywood Sunday, the city said.

San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter issued a declaration limiting public access to roads, after the fire department reported “people touring the damage are clogging streets, preventing residents from getting to and from their houses to attend to their homes and their possessions,” the city said.



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