Flooding and severe storms continue in the Midwest

May 28, 2019

Tyson Fisher


Rain continues to pour over the Midwest, exacerbating already existing flooding in large swaths of Oklahoma and Missouri. Conditions have also been ripe for tornados, with several causing significant damage across the region.

Kicking off Memorial Day weekend, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt amended an executive order that effectively put the entire state under a state of emergency. As of May 24, all 77 counties in the Sooner State are included in the state of emergency declaration due to flooding and severe storms.

Severe storms have been plaguing Oklahoma for the entire month of May, with the original state of emergency declaration signed on May 1 for 52 counties. That was amended on May 8 to include 14 more counties.

On Saturday, May 25, President Donald Trump approved of Oklahoma’s emergency declaration, which allows the state to obtain federal assistance.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 107 injuries have been reported by area hospitals as a result of the severe storms. The Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is reporting six fatalities attributed to flooding and severe weather.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is reporting numerous road closures across the state. Click here for updated road conditions.

Road closures in Oklahoma
Road closures in Oklahoma as of 1 p.m. CDT on Tuesday.

In Missouri, flooding has forced Gov. Mike Parson to take more action. On Monday, May 27, Parson activated the Missouri National Guard to respond to damage caused by flooding, tornadoes and severe storms.

“I have directed Maj. Gen. Steve Danner to begin moving our Missouri Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen to locations where they will support our ongoing flood fighting efforts,” Parson said in a statement. “Missouri has been battling historic flooding since March, which is depleting local resources, and now flooding conditions in many parts of the state are only getting worse.”

Last week, an EF-3 tornado ripped through Missouri’s capital city, Jefferson City. Approximately 500 homes and buildings were damaged.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is also reporting dozens of closures throughout the state. Up-to-date closures can be found here.

Road closures in Missouri
Road closures in Missouri as of 1 p.m. CDT on Tuesday.


Meanwhile in Ohio, storms blew debris onto Interstate 75 north of Dayton. The Ohio Department of Transportation used snow plows to push debris off the interstate.

According to the National Weather Service, counties in several states in the Midwest are under a flood warning or flood watch for Tuesday, May 28. Affected states include Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Tornado probability for parts of Kansas and Missouri are at 10% for Tuesday. Severe storms, capable of producing large hail, damaging wind and tornadoes are likely from the central Plains eastward to the Midwest, according to the National Weather Service. Severe storms with large hail, damaging wind and a couple of tornadoes are also expected across the Upper Ohio Valley and Northeast states.


Tornado outlook for Tuesday, May 28.
Tornado outlook for Tuesday, May 28.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended the regional emergency declaration in the area. The declaration will remain in effect for the duration of the emergency or until July 2, whichever is less. Affected states include Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.