Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The destruction in Jefferson City, Missouris capital city, after the tornado struck. Photo: MO Public Safety

The Missouri Department of Public Safety said 3 people died in a storm that struck the southwest region of the state, and the National Weather Service confirmed a "violent tornado" struck Jefferson City late on Wednesday, as severe thunderstorms continued to hammer the Central U.S.

What's new: NOAA issued a severe thunderstorm outlook calling for an "enhanced" risk of severe storms again on Thursday in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, as well as the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. There is a continued threat for heavy rain in already flooded areas of the Central U.S.

Catch up quick: The tornado has been preliminarily rated EF-3 by the NWS. At least 20 people were injured amid extensive damage in storm-hit areas of Missouri on Wednesday, and Missouri DPS said power lines were down. Tornado watches were in place from Oklahoma City northeast to central Illinois on Wednesday night. The NWS said it received 22 reports of tornadoes by late Wednesday, though some could be duplicated sightings.

"Due to the tornado and severe weather in Jefferson City last night we are asking that all non-essential state employees in the Jefferson City area remain at home on Thursday. We have damage to state buildings and power is down in some areas. Please be safe!"
— Missouri Gov. Mike Parson

The big picture: A large tornado passed north of Joplin, Missouri, exactly 8 years after a twister there killed 161 people. Radar imagery detected debris lofted thousands of feet into the air as the twister traveled through small cities including Carl Junction and Oronogo, Missouri. Severe storms affected millions from Oklahoma to Illinois.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Missouri DPS said the fatalities occurred in Barton County and several people were injured in the Carl Junction area of Jasper County.

  • Since Tuesday alone, there have been at least 60 tornado reports.

The threat: The risk of tornadoes, flash flooding and severe thunderstorms will continue into Thursday morning, as a frontal boundary remains draped across the nation's midsection. Weather disturbances rippling along were helping to spark rounds of storms.

Record rainfall has fallen in much of the Central U.S. this spring, with more than a foot in some places in the past few days, causing dangerous flooding. Numerous evacuations were reportedly underway in Oklahoma, Kansas and nearby states due to rising waters, per weather.com. In eastern Oklahoma, 2 barges broke loose Wednesday night on the flooded Arkansas River, per AP.

Video posted by Regional Entertainment News shows some building damage, along with downed power lines and trees at Carl Junction, about 10 miles north of Joplin.

Witnesses shared images of the moment the tornado swept through the region.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

What's ahead for the newest female CEOs

Jane Fraser (L) and Rosalind Brewer. Photos: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images; Rodrigo Capote/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The number of women at the helm of America’s biggest companies pales in comparison to men, but is newly growing — and their tasks are huge.

What's going on: Jane Fraser took over at Citigroup this week, the first woman to ever lead a major U.S. bank. Rosalind Brewer will take the reins at Walgreens in the coming weeks (March 15) — a company that's been run by white men for more than a century.

2 hours ago - Health

Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccines for 300 million adults by end of May

President Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that ramped-up coronavirus vaccine production will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end May.

Why it matters: That's two months sooner than Biden's previous promise of enough vaccines for all American adults by the end of July.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Texas to end all coronavirus restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the White House in December 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas will end its coronavirus restrictions next week with an upcoming executive order, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Tuesday during a press conference in Lubbock.

Why it matters: After Abbott signs the new order, which rescinds previous orders, all businesses can open to 100% capacity and the statewide mask mandate will be over, though large parts of the state will remain under mask local ordinances.