Mass casualty event reported in Ohio following suspected tornadoes

Suspected tornadoes and tornado warnings spread across several states Thursday as storms marched east over the Midwest.
Posted at 7:25 AM, Mar 14, 2024

Severe thunderstorms, including possible tornadoes, spread across the Midwest on Thursday night.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, authorities in Logan County, Ohio, said late Thursday a suspected tornado had caused a mass casualty event in a trailer park northwest of Columbus.

The Logan County Emergency Management Agency said either a tornado or high winds had caused multiple injuries that called for ambulance response.

The National Weather Service also issued tornado warnings for Dubois County in south central Indiana and for central Pulaski County in Arkansas, near West Little Rock.

Indiana State Police said three people died after a severe thunderstorm moved through Randolph County on Thursday. A tornado was reported in the area, but it is not yet known if it was related to the fatalities.

At least one tornado warning was reported near Topeka, Kansas, as well as hailstones as large as apples. In some cases it was described as "gorilla hail," a term said to be coined by stormchaser Reed Timmer to describe particularly large hailstones.

Areas of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas saw thunderstorm warnings.

The storm system is expected to move east through the end of the week. Forecasters warn as much as four inches of rain could fall in places as the storms stretch from central Louisiana up through central Arkansas.

Meanwhile, heavy, wet snow was expected to fall through Friday sometime in Denver and surrounding areas. The foothills west of the Colorado capital saw the biggest accumulations. Higher elevations in the Rocky Mountain foothills collected as much as three feet of snow on Thursday, with another foot in the forecast through Friday.

The storm fell on a stretch of Interstate 70's east-west route through the mountains, snarling ill-prepared traffic and closing the road to truck traffic through Friday. Officials urged anyone who had to travel to take blankets and provisions with them, in case they become stranded.

Schools and government offices were closed throughout Colorado's Front Range region on Thursday, and even some ski resorts had to shut down for the day due to the extreme weather.

Power was out for more than 50,000 Colorado residents at one point on Thursday. Denver International Airport, on the eastern outskirts of the city, stayed open, but some 800 flights were cancelled and another 200 were delayed, according to FlightAware.