Wild weather in Iowa and Nebraska as hailstones pummel heartland

Mike Krumboltz
Yahoo News

Thunderstorms and hailstones the size of baseballs struck states throughout the Midwest and Great Plains, leaving a path of destruction across America's heartland.

The storms are expected to continue through Wednesday as they move east toward Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, according to Weather.com.

As demonstrated in harrowing videos posted online, the severe storms caused extensive damage to buildings and vehicles. Homes were flooded and many had to seek emergency shelter, according to CBS News. Police used boats to rescue motorists trapped in vehicles, the AP reported.

In the above video, posted by Jered Klug, hail rains down across Norfolk, Nebraska, on Wednesday. While capturing the footage from inside a garage, one person — understandably shocked by the storm's fury — whispers, "Ho-ly cow." At another point, somebody utters a four-letter word or two.

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, a similar scene was playing out. The video, credited to Matt Thompson, offers viewers an alarming look at the intensity of the storms. The wind and rain are so strong that it becomes difficult to see homes and vehicles across the street.

While there is no final word on the number of injuries resulting from the storms, KETV reported that 12 people suffered hail-related injuries while in a Walmart parking lot.

In Omaha, Nebraska, the hail shattered the back windshield of this police cruiser. The photo was posted to Twitter by a member of the Omaha Police Department.

Tuesday's hail pounded over 4,000 vehicles at a series of car dealerships in Omaha. Paul Cech, the chain's chief financial officer, told CNN, "The damage is substantial. We'll get people all over the country calling us trying to get discount prices."

Twitter user @2Jarnagin snapped this stunning image of a supercell cloud forming over Holcomb, Kansas.

Threats of tornadoes will continue to be monitored on Wednesday. Additionally, a derecho — "a long-lived squall line with widespread damaging winds covering a path of several hundred mile" — is possible in parts of Ohio and the Tennessee Valley, according to Weather.com.

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).