( dpa )- Unseasonably warm weather sparked a rash of tornadoes in parts of the Midwest United States through Tuesday, flattening houses and mobile homes and killing at least 3 people in Missouri, the National Weather Service said.
About 40 tornadoes have been spotted in the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin since Monday, buoyed by record high temperatures in parts of the region.
Two women, aged 53 and 85, were killed in Missouri and dozens were injured Monday, and another person died in the state Tuesday. Tornado warnings remained in effect in some areas through Tuesday afternoon as heavy rain and even hail continued to pore down, the National Weather Service said.
Hundreds of people spent Monday night in city shelters as numerous flattened homes and downed power lines were reported. The storms were expected to tail off by Tuesday evening but flooding remained a threat for the coming days. Flash floods also sparked evacuations of towns in north-west Indiana as a river dam was threatening to burst.