US: Grapefruit-sized hail as storms ravage plains

Lumber from obliterated buildings was scattered among corn stalks, concrete foundations were exposed where houses once stood and silos were crushed like empty aluminium cans after deadly storms swept across America’s northern Plains with twisters and large hail.

Lumber from obliterated buildings was scattered among corn stalks, concrete foundations were exposed where houses once stood and silos were crushed like empty aluminium cans after deadly storms swept across America’s northern Plains with twisters and large hail.

In southern Minnesota, 70 homes were lost, dozens more structures suffered damage and hundreds of cattle were killed or on the loose. Some wandering cattle caused car accidents a day after the storm.

“There’s a lot of devastation,” said Tom Doherty, chief deputy in the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office. “We have areas that you can’t believe a house was there. Crops, you wouldn’t even know there was a crop there. Cornfields, there’s nothing left.”

In New York, the city was under a rare tornado warning for about 30 minutes yesterday. No tornado touched down, the National Weather Service said.

Minnesota saw multiple tornadoes, and the one that caused the most damage stayed together for at least 20 miles, National Weather Service meteorologist Karen Trammell said. That twister was classified as an F-3, meaning winds ranging from 158 to 206mph.

Twisters, heavy rain and hail as big as grapefruit also struck the Dakotas, stripping trees of their leaves, and power was knocked out around the region on Thursday.

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