Storms, tornadoes rake Midwest as high winds fuel prairie fires

Storms, tornadoes rake Midwest as high winds fuel prairie firesBy Timothy Mclaughlin CHICAGO (Reuters) – A line of thunderstorms packing hail and isolated tornadoes rumbled across the Midwest from Oklahoma to Minnesota on Monday as wind-fueled prairie fires forced thousands of people from their homes in Colorado and Kansas. Police and National Weather Service meteorologists reported some power outages but no initial major damage from the storms carrying winds of 60 miles per hour (96 kph) and hail 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter as they rolled east. A tornado touched down in Smithville, Missouri, a Kansas City suburb, damaging 10 to 12 homes and displacing a few families but causing no major injuries, Police Chief Jason Lockridge said.



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