Storms menace Midwest, plains with more heavy winds and hail - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Storms menace Midwest, plains with more heavy winds and hail

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(NBC) -

by ALEX JOHNSON

Severe thunderstorm watches and a handful of tornado watches peppered the Midwest and the Plains on Tuesday as summer storms again threatened the region.

Scattered storms were expected Tuesday from parts of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin into South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, the National Weather Service said. The storms are likely to move across Iowa and Wisconsin later in the evening, forecasters said.

While a few places were under tornado watches until early in the evening, hail and damaging wind are expected to be the main threat, said Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

"Sometimes it rains so much that the ground can get really wet, and it doesn't take too much wind to knock over a tree," he said.

An overturned truck in the parking lot of a Walmart that was significantly damaged by a tornado Monday. WLEX-TV

A similar weather system spawned a tornado Monday night in Louisa, Kentucky, in Lawrence County about 20 miles south of Huntington, West Virginia, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

The tornado, which raked a 2½-mile-long area with winds up to 120 mph, left five people with minor injuries, the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency told NBC News.

A Walmart store sustained significant damage, and a fireworks stand was also knocked over.

"It literally looked like a funnel in the sky," manager of the fireworks stand, told NBC station WLEX of Lexington. "There was shrapnel everywhere ... I mean trees broken down, poles were snapping."

Vehicles were overturned in the parking lot of the Walmart, which will be under construction for six to eight weeks, Marty Bishop, manager of the Walmart, told NBC station WSAZ of Huntington. He said he hoped to have at least part of the store open soon.

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