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Missouri tornado damage

Severe thunderstorm risk continues across parts of the U.S. on Friday

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Friday, April 4, 2014, 8:23 AM -

Heavy rain, hail, strong winds and tornado reports.

Parts of the U.S. Midwest and South dealt with a string of severe storms on Thursday, 40 years after a massive and deadly tornado outbreak.

Widespread watches and warnings were issued including in Missouri and Texas where suspected tornadoes touched down.

Officials say at least four people were injured in Texas when a tornado destroyed a farmhouse and mobile home Thursday night near Merit.

TORNADOES ON TWITTER: A closer look at Thursday's severe weather outbreak on social media

Hail the size of baseballs were also reported in the college city of Denton in north Texas, breaking car windows and resulting in further damage.

Officials say entire windshields were damaged and hail also shattered skylights at a nearby medical building. One witness said it sounded like "gunshots."

Within an hour of the hail, the tornado warning sirens sounded prompting students in dorms to rush down into the basements and stairwells for shelter.

They remained in shelter for about 45 minutes until the warning ended.

Flash flood warnings were also issued in eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, and western Kentucky because of runoff from the torrential rains, according to the National Weather Service.

The heavy rain damaged dozens of homes and forced at least two water rescues.

School buses were also forced to change routes as water covered a number of streets in Missouri.

RELATED: Severe weather threat in the U.S. sparks memories of deadly outbreak 40 years ago 

The same system will continue to push east on Friday with a "slight" severe weather risk for the region.

According to weather.com, isolated to scattered severe thunderstorms are expected from the central Appalachians into parts of the South on Friday. Damaging straight-line winds will be the most common threat, however, a few tornadoes are also possible.

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