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9 tornadoes hit Midwest; severe weather threatens 40 million across U.S.

At least 40 million people are under threat of severe weather Thursday morning. Nine tornadoes were reported from Texas to Iowa Wednesday with some straight-line wind gusts exceeding 100 mph. More tornadoes, damaging wind and heavy rain could affect people across the central U.S. and into the Northeast Thursday.

CBS News' Tony Dokoupil reports from Raytown, Missouri, where winds were powerful enough to take down a 200-year-old red oak tree and snap another tree into shards, sending the pieces barreling into Sean Hagg's home.

"The house shook, and the windows blew open….I didn't have the time to even know if the whole house was coming down. I heard the tornado sirens go off so I wasn't sure if it was the tree or something bigger," Hagg said. 

Hunting tornadoes from inside a NOAA research plane 02:28

The same scene played out near Elkhart, Indiana. In Oklahoma, sirens warned residents to take shelter as ominous clouds brought a piercing rain and damaging tornadoes. At least nine were reported in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, just one day after more than 18 tornadoes ripped through the Midwest, including a twister in Tescott, Kansas.

Across the central U.S., heavy rain, lightning and strong winds tore through homes and knocked down power lines.

In Langdon, Kansas, a bolt of lightning set an oil tank on fire. As far north as Chicago, heavy winds damaged buildings – including ripping the roof off an apartment complex.

The Kansas City metro area is under a flash flood warning through this afternoon after Wednesday's heavy rains. Strong tornadoes, damaging winds and very large hail are expected throughout the plains Thursday.

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