A vicious storm tore through the Kansas City area, spawning tornadoes that downed trees and power lines, damaged homes, and injured at least a dozen people in the latest barrage of severe weather that saw tornado warnings as far east as New York City.

Parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey were also under tornado warnings hours after a swarm of tightly packed twisters swept through Indiana and Ohio overnight, smashing homes, blowing out windows, and ending the school year early for some students because of damage to buildings. One person was killed and at least 130 were injured.

The storms in Kansas City on Tuesday, May 28, were the 12th straight day that at least eight tornadoes were reported to the National Weather Service.

The sky begins to clear over a destroyed home after a tornado touched down in a neighborhood south of Lawrence, Kan., near US-59 highway and N. 1000 Road on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the U.S., with no immediate end to the pattern in sight. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
A tornado touched down in a neighborhood south of Lawrence, Kan., on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the United States, with no immediate end to the pattern in sight. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

After several quiet years, the past couple of weeks have seen an explosion of tornado activity with no end to the pattern in sight.

A large and dangerous tornado touched down on the western edge of Kansas City, Kansas, late Tuesday, the National Weather Service office reported. At least a dozen people were admitted to the hospital in Lawrence, 40 miles west of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, and home to the University of Kansas, hospital spokesman Janice Early said. Damage also was reported in the towns of Linwood, Bonner Springs, and Pleasant Grove in Kansas.

But the Kansas City metropolitan area of about 2.1 million people appeared to have been spared the direct hit that was feared earlier in the evening when the weather service announced a tornado emergency.

A man and woman inspect the damage to their home and classic cars after being hit by a tornado on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in a neighborhood south of Lawrence, Kan., near US-59 highway and N. 1000 Road. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the U.S., with no immediate end to the pattern in sight. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
A man and woman inspect the damage to their home and classic cars after being hit by a tornado, on May 28, 2019, in a neighborhood south of Lawrence, Kan. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

Mark Duffin, 48, learned from his wife and a television report that the large tornado was headed toward his home in Linwood, about 30 miles west of Kansas City.

The next thing he knew, the walls of his house were coming down.

Duffin told the Kansas City Star that he grabbed a mattress, followed his 13-year-old to the basement and protected the two of them with the mattress as the home crashed down around them.

A family tries to gather their belongings after a tornado destroyed their home on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in a neighborhood south of Lawrence, Kan., near US-59 highway and N. 1000 Road. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the U.S., with no immediate end to the pattern in sight. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
A family tries to gather their belongings after a tornado destroyed their home on May 28, 2019, in a neighborhood south of Lawrence, Kan. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

“I’m just glad I found my two dogs alive,” he said. “Wife’s alive, family’s alive, I’m alive. So, that’s it.”

The severe weather wasn’t limited to the Midwest. Tornadoes were confirmed in eastern Pennsylvania and the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of New York City and northern New Jersey.

The winds peeled away roofs—leaving homes looking like giant dollhouses—knocked houses off their foundations, toppled trees, brought down power lines, and churned up so much debris that it was visible on radar. Highway crews had to use snowplows to clear an Ohio interstate.

A family ducks under power lines as they make their way out of a tornado damaged neighborhood after being hit on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, south of Lawrence, Kan., near US-59 highway and N. 1000 Road. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the U.S., with no immediate end to the pattern in sight.(Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
A family ducks under power lines as they make their way out of a tornado damaged neighborhood after being hit on May 28, 2019, south of Lawrence, Kan. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

Some of the heaviest damage was reported just outside Dayton, Ohio.

“I just got down on all fours and covered my head with my hands,” said Francis Dutmers, who with his wife headed for the basement of their home in Vandalia, about 10 miles outside Dayton, when the storm hit with a “very loud roar” Monday night. The winds blew out windows around his house, filled rooms with debris and took down most of his trees.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency in three hard-hit counties, allowing the state to suspend normal purchasing procedures and quickly provide supplies like generators and water.

People watch from the Liberty Memorial as a severe storm that dropped several tornados earlier approaches downtown Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
People watch from the Liberty Memorial as a severe storm that dropped several tornados earlier approaches downtown Kansas City, Mo., on May 28, 2019. (Charlie Riedel/AP Photo)

Monday marked the record-tying 11th straight day with at least eight tornadoes in the United States, said Patrick Marsh, a Storm Prediction Center meteorologist. The last such stretch was in 1980. The weather service website showed at least 27 reports of tornadoes on Tuesday, most in Kansas and Missouri but also in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Outbreaks of 50 or more tornadoes are not uncommon, having happened 63 times in U.S. history, with three instances of more than 100 twisters, Marsh said. But Monday’s swarm was unusual because it happened over a particularly wide geographic area and came amid an especially active stretch, he said.

As for why it’s happening, Marsh said high pressure over the Southeast and an unusually cold trough over the Rockies are forcing warm, moist air into the central United States, triggering repeated severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. And neither system is showing signs of moving, he said.

Scientists said climate change is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather such as storms, droughts, floods, and fires, but without extensive study they cannot directly link a single weather event to the changing climate.

Joe Armison looks over his destroyed barn after a tornado struck the outskirts of Eudora, Kan., Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
Joe Armison looks over his destroyed barn after a tornado struck the outskirts of Eudora, Kan., Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
A rapid-fire line of apparent tornadoes tore across Indiana and Ohio overnight, packed so closely together that one crossed the path carved by another.;
A rapid-fire line of apparent tornadoes tore across Indiana and Ohio overnight, packed so closely together that one crossed the path carved by another.;
A destroyed home sits in a neighborhood after it was hit by a tornado on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, south of Lawrence, Kan., near US-59 highway and N. 1000 Road. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the U.S., with no immediate end to the pattern in sight. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
A destroyed home sits in a neighborhood after it was hit by a tornado on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, south of Lawrence, Kan., near US-59 highway and N. 1000 Road. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the U.S., with no immediate end to the pattern in sight. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
A man passes off a bundle of blue jeans as he tries to collect clothing for his family after being hit by a tornado on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in a neighborhood south of Lawrence, Kan., near US-59 highway and N. 1000 Road. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the U.S., with no immediate end to the pattern in sight. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
A man passes off a bundle of blue jeans as he tries to collect clothing for his family after being hit by a tornado on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in a neighborhood south of Lawrence, Kan., near US-59 highway and N. 1000 Road. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the U.S., with no immediate end to the pattern in sight. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
A severe storm that dropped several tornados earlier passes behind downtown Kansas City, Mo. Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A severe storm that dropped several tornados earlier passes behind downtown Kansas City, Mo. Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
People watch as a severe storm that dropped several tornados earlier passes behind downtown Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
People watch as a severe storm that dropped several tornados earlier passes behind downtown Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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