February 29th, 2012
05:34 PM ET

9 killed as storm system slashes central U.S.

[Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET] The death toll from a powerful storm system that spawned suspected tornadoes in the Midwest - and at least one with winds estimated at 170 mph - has risen to nine, authorities say. More than 100 people were injured.

[Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET] The death toll from severe weather sweeping through Kansas, Missouri and Illinois has risen to seven - five in Illinois, according to Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg, and two in Missouri.

[Updated at 11:31 a.m. ET] At least five people have been killed as a result of storms that hit the Midwest on Wednesday, authorities said, including three who were killed when an apparent tornado struck Harrisburg, Illinois, early Wednesday.

[Posted at 2:13 a.m. ET] Emergency teams combed the tiny Kansas community of Harveyville early Wednesday after severe weather raked the area, injuring at least nine people, state officials said.

Gov. Sam Brownback declared a state of emergency for the town of 236 people about 20 miles southwest of Topeka that was hit by an "apparent tornado" Tuesday night.

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Scottish Mama

    Tornato hit Branson Mo and Buffalo Mo last night too. Damage is reported by local station on the main strip in Branson.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. TOTO

    I'm glad I'm not in Kansas anymore.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack Nance


      February 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    We're starting early this year.
    I hope nobody was killed....and the injuries are at a minimum.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      no doubt it's gonna be a long hot one..

      autumn gave winter and spring a miss, and went straight on in to summer.. 😉

      February 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • CenTexan©

      @lee...I hope it's not as bad as last year...months of triple digits and that terrible drought I don't think I can take another one like that LOL!

      February 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |

    weather isnt itself wait till it starts throwing a tantrum then your going to see mother natures angered side for every polluting the earth

    February 29, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Tornados = pollution?

      February 29, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Eventually we will all be cleaning up the mess we've made of this earth.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    @ banasy, you know you dont tick off mother nature lol! And i think pollution may be one thing that would, but tornados cause enough pollution all on their own.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      Jeez it is starting awful early! Good day to live in Arizona Have a great day everyone!

      February 29, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    My condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.

    It's 60 outside right now, and windy...

    @chrissy: Ik, r?
    But why does it always seem that tornadoes hit more rural areas?
    It's a rhetorical question.
    Another cow!

    February 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • CenTexan©

      Tornadoes seem attracted to trailer parks too...

      February 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @banasy: i've wondered about that many times. i think they may have a harder time forming with big buildings breaking up the airflow. not sure, just a logical guess.. i know they've hit cities.. wonder if maybe they form in the flat and move in to cities?

      February 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BOMBO ©

    It's just a random thing. Next time you are on a plane, look down at the ground beneath. Populated areas, and cities particularly, make up a very small percentage of the total land area down there. Tornadoes that form will statistically run through unpopulated areas most of the time, as will any other weather system.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      all this unpopulated area, and allegedly, we're overcrowded. go figure 😉

      February 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I just didn' want to get into the whole climate/pollution thing...and I still don't, lol.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Leon

    The meteorologist on with Wolf sounds rediculous at times this afternoon. I've already clipped video segements of him to show to my severe weather training classes for a laugh. The most rediculous thing he indicated was how far away the Joplin, MO tornado from last year was from Tornado Alley, presumably since it is in Missouri instead of Kansas, which he listed as being in Tornado Alley. Joplin is 6 miles from Kansas, 8 miles from Oklahoma, and 40 miles from Arkansas. Wow! Joplin is radically outside the normative area isn't it? It's reckless to choose to sensationalize the weather for the sake of ratings instead of educating the viewers, and the impact of the sensationalized comments like those made by him make my job much harder in times of danger. Do your job as a meteorologist, not as an entertainer.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Starting off this early, this could shape up to be a very catastrophic year. There has been no kind of winter to speak of this year, and the temps have a good start for setting records also. All I can say is everyone please prepare yourselves. And the way it's starting here on the gulf coast, I have already begun my preparations. I have a bad feeling about this year.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    Natural calamities just bring into focus the vulnerability of us puny humans. Year after year we see devastation sometime on a large sometime on a small scale none the less tragic. yet our bloated egoes & swagger drive us to ridiculous lengths to prove that we are invincible.
    my prayers go out to the affected families.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |