CBSN

Tornadoes Surprise Midwest In Nov.

Willie Mae Copeland, right, empathizes with Ann Steele, both employees of Mohan International, a furniture factory in Paris, Tenn., Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005, Copeland and Steele's cars were damaged after a tornado touched down at the plant Tuesday.
AP
Nearly three dozen tornadoes ripped through the Midwest, part of a huge line of thunderstorms that destroyed homes and killed at least two people in weather that's highly uncharacteristic for November.

One person died in Benton, Ky., when he was thrown from his mobile home, the trailer apparently landed on him, and then caught on fire, reports Ryan Tate of CBS affiliate KFVS-TV.

"There is not a lot left," said Lori King, public information officer for Marshall County Emergency Management Services. "The mobile home flipped off the foundation at least once but possibly several times. It caught fire shortly afterward."

A teenager was killed when her car went out of control on a flooded road and overturned east of Indianapolis, Hancock County Sheriff's Dept. Sgt. Bridget D. Foy said.

CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports this is startling storm weather for November. A cold front moving rapidly east collided with unusually warm fall weather in the Midwest, creating tornado time for the third time this month — this time spawning funnel clouds and tornadoes in parts of Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee.

Strassmann reports there have now been 70 tornados already this month, double the previous November record, in places where the typical weather worry this time of year is snow.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center had preliminary reports of at least 35 tornadoes in the five states, spokeswoman Peggy Stogsdill said Wednesday at the center in Norman, Okla.

"We heard a weird sound coming through, kind of a whistle," said Penny Leonard, 37, who sought shelter in the basement of a hospital in the western Kentucky town of Madisonville. "I thank God I'm safe."

Three people were reported in critical condition at the Regional Medical Center in Madisonville and several others were admitted due to storm injuries. The Hopkins County Emergency Management Agency estimates an F-3 tornado ripped a 3,000-foot-wide path through the area.

It was the third outbreak of twisters this month. One tornado on Nov. 6 killed 23 people in southern Indiana, and nine tornadoes struck Iowa on Saturday, killing one woman.

What made this outbreak different than the one in Evansville ten days ago is it struck when most were awake and could get the tornado warnings, the Weather Channel's Mike Seidel said on CBS News' The Early Show.

"The same front that brought the severe weather and tornadoes on Tuesday heads to the East Coast today producing severe weather. That's forecast for New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington," said Seidel.

At the colder northern end of the storm system, snow fell across parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan on Wednesday. At least three people were killed in crashes on slippery Minnesota roads on Tuesday, police said.

"It was a big loud train sound and glass and stuff just went flying," Benton homeowner Louise Brandon told KFVS. "I laid down by a recliner in the living room and that's when it took about half of my house, the garage, the car — everything."