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Midwest thunderstorms threaten tornadoes, baseball-sized hail

Tornadoes, baseball-sized hail could hit Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri
Weather service warns of severe thunderstorms, possible tornadoes in Midwestern states

Hail the size of baseballs, wind gusts of up to 90 mph and tornadoes could be in store for parts of Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri as a band of severe thunderstorms travels across the Midwest Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Storm advisories urged residents to take shelter to avoid flying debris as the storm center could cause severe damage in the region.

"Move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris. Heavy rainfall may hide this tornado. Do not wait to see or hear the tornado. Take cover now," read one storm advisory issued for Decatur County, an enclave of about 8,000 residents in the southern part of Iowa.

Tornado watches and warnings were issued in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, according to the National Weather Service. The band of storms is also expected to move through western central Illinois, the northeastern edge of Kansas and the southeastern tip of South Dakota, weather officials said.

Eighteen counties in Missouri were placed under tornado watches from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., and a weather advisory for the northern parts of the state warned of 90-mph wind gusts and power outages.

Flash flood warnings were also issued, with sections of Iowa and Nebraska expected to see 2 to 4 inches of rainfall. 

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for more breaking news.

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