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Tornadoes Leave 5 Dead in Central U.S. and 438,000 in Dark

  • Storm spawns 21 tornado reports, 501 instances of wind damage
  • High wind warnings are posted throughout southern Ontario
A resident surveys damage to a home following a tornado in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, on Dec. 12.
A resident surveys damage to a home following a tornado in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, on Dec. 12.Photographer: Liam Kennedy/Bloomberg
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A powerful storm that ripped across the Midwest and Great Plains with hurricane-force winds killed at least five people, ripping trees from the ground and knocking out power to more than 438,000 homes and businesses. 

Winds reached 97 miles (156 kilometers) per hour in parts of Nebraska and approached that speed in many other areas as the storm combined with already stiff breezes and warm air to set record-breaking temperatures across the region. Wednesday set the record for the most gusts of 75 mph or more since 2004, with 55 reported, the U.S. Storm Prediction Center said in a tweet.