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By Phil McCausland and Shamar Walters
The central United States has seen warm spring temperatures and sunshine replaced early in the weekend by destructive storms, including dangerous tornadoes and hail the size of a golf ball.
A low pressure front crossing Saturday the central and southern plains and the Mississippi Valley caused heavy showers and thunderstorms, the National Weather Service reported. Large hail, dangerous gusts of wind and tornadoes are expected – and have already hit parts of the country.
The city of Abilene, Texas, signed a disaster declaration and opened an emergency operations center on Saturday after a series of severe weather conditions, including a potential tornado, that swept the community earlier in the morning tearing the roofs of houses and cars debris.
Tiffany Nicole Casey, 25, told NBC News that she had lived in Abilene for seven years but that she had never seen such a storm. She woke up early in the morning with her dogs barking, then her windows suddenly broke.
"I was standing in the dark and everything was breaking around me, so I knew something was going wrong," she said.
"I'm just happy to have another house," Casey said. My house is always structured. There are people whose houses are torn apart. "
Mayor Anthony Williams said the city had suffered a strong wind at 6:00 pm local time and that at least 100 structures had been damaged. Until now, no major injuries have been reported, but he warned that people should stay away from the area.
"Even if your family or friends are in the affected areas," he said at a press conference, "we ask you not to go there for the moment. cut and worry about your safety, let the professionals, these on the ground, coordinate this. "
In San Angelo, Texas, 90 miles to the southeast, the National Weather Service confirmed a "rain-covered tornado on the ground" Saturday morning.
"Get away now if you're on the way to this storm!" the weather service warned.
Utlity AEP Texas said more than 35,000 customers were without electricity between San Angelo and Abilene due to broken power lines, but local authorities said there were no reports of serious injuries neither of deaths.
In nearby Ballinger, Texas, high school announced Saturday morning that it would delay graduation due to weather-related damage in the region.
These are not the only tornadoes to have hit the United States this weekend. Nebraska and Oklahoma storm hunters dominated several dramatic tornadoes in the two Great Plains states on Friday. At least two houses were destroyed in Comanche County, Oklahoma.
Strong winds, tornadoes and hail, however, are not the only concerns during this series of storms.
This latest rain could be a huge problem for many people in the Midwest, especially for farmers and small communities where floods have besieged entire cities and left millions of acres of farmland useless since the month Of March.
Associated Press reported on Saturday that the floods had also begun to disrupt deliveries of agricultural products, coal, oil and building materials along the Mississippi River needed during farmers' planting season.
This last misfortune occurs during a series of years of financial difficulties that have caused a drop in commodity prices. The Trump administration's trade war with China has only made the situation more precarious for American farmers.
"You have a perfect storm here," Kenneth Hartman, Jr., who farms corn, soybeans and wheat just south of Waterloo, Illinois, told AP. "It seems bad for us."