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Flooding rain, hail and damaging winds tear through the U.S. Midwest

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 8:09 AM - Experts are assessing damage left by power thunderstorms that swept through the U.S. Midwest.

"Torrential rains, large hail, high winds and reported tornadoes spread across Nebraska and Iowa Tuesday," says weather.com.

For Weather Network storm hunters Mark Robinson and Jaclyn Whittal, it was the final chase day for the team this season.

"We waited all day for storms to go up, finally found what should have been a blockbuster show, but the storms couldn't root themselves where the best air existed. Thought we had a bust...," Whittal said Tuesday night.

"Then we were headed east to Lincoln, Nebraska to spend the night and storms intensified. Went Tornado warned, at night. We took shelter from hail and wind in a truck car wash that was enclosed as we didn't want to lose another windshield. Got some good intense winds and rain/hail footage there. Later we heard about tornado reports in Kansas and storms are still going now."


DAMAGING STORM: Tennis ball-sized hail smashes storm chasers windshield in Texas .


Officials say some of the most dramatic scenes played out in Omaha, Nebraska, as the storms prompted emergency evacuations and rescues.

"After slamming through Nebraska and Iowa on Tuesday, a significant outbreak of severe weather is expected to continue Wednesday across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and parts of the Appalachians," adds weather.com. "Over 15 million Americans are in the risk zone."

While the tornado risk will remain isolated, experts say a much larger number of people may experience the impact of damaging winds.

"Tornadoes are likely in parts of the Mississippi River Valley through Wednesday, and conditions are looking favorable for the potential development of a derecho -- a long-lived squall line with widespread damaging winds covering a path of several hundred miles -- through Wednesday afternoon," says weather.com.

Five things you need to know about Wednesday
Severe storm produces funnel cloud in Quebec
Storm hunters face 'scary' parameters for Tuesday's chase in Tornado Alley

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