Powerful storm races east after bringing violent twisters to heartland

A tornado struck Jefferson City, Missouri, ripping off roofs, shredding buildings and tearing large trees from the ground.
3:54 | 05/23/19

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Transcript for Powerful storm races east after bringing violent twisters to heartland
and we begin with those storming raging in the east at this hour, just as millions travel for the long holiday weekend. A tornado warning near Washington, D.C. For a time. The capitol disappearing in that storm late today. That same system moving north at this hour. It brought an ef-3 tornado in the middle of the country. Winds of 160 miles per hour in Missouri. There was a direct hit on the capital, Jefferson city. You can see the homes just destroyed. And tossing pickup trucks and cars on top of one another. All of this as tonight 55 million Americans from the plains to the northeast are now in the path of these severe storms, just as this holiday nears. Meteorologist rob Marciano has the track and the timing tonight. He's in the storm zone. Reporter: Tonight, tornado warnings and power flashes in the Washington, D.C. Area. That powerful storm system racing east after violent tornadoes pummeled the heartland overnight. Tornado sirens sounding the alarm in Missouri. That thing is a block in front of my house. And it's going to get so dark, nobody's going to see it. Reporter: Light flashes revealing an especially dangerous nighttime twister moving toward Jefferson city, a rare tornado emergency in Missouri's capital. From what I'm hearing, we got multiple people trapped. The tornado took the roof off. We have a female that's bleeding, they're talking about possible amputation. Reporter: Daybrearevealing the devastation. Residents trying to salvage what they can after an ef-3 twister, winds up to 160 miles per hour, ripping off roofs. The tornado had enough force to knock over this semi, and then go right into this neighborhood. Roof tile, lumber, insulation strewn all about, snapping these trees in half. Destroying people's lives. Crossing a major highway, miles before it even gets to Jefferson city. At this car dealership, cars thrown like toys. It's amazing, if you look Reporter: Kevin Riley has owned this business for three generations. What are they saying when they see your lot like this? Praying for you. Reporter: Yeah. How does that make you feel? You got that kind of support here? Solid. Really good, year. Reporter: First responders, some using dogs, going door-to-door. Thankfully, everyone in town is accounted for tonight. It's incredible how much heavy damage there is and how nobody died here. The only words I can put it in is the word miracle. Reporter: Tragically, in golden city, Missouri, three people were killed when the storm hit there. In Oklahoma, days of rain making rivers rage. Taking out homes. Runaway barges careening downstream. Watch as they get sucked into a dam. Officials now releasing more than 1.8 million gallons of water per second from the keystone dam. And sounding sirens to warn residents downstream of impending flooding. Let's get right back to rob Marciano, reporting in from Jefferson city, Missouri, just stunning pictures there, rob. I know you're following yet another active situation as we head into the evening. What's the track? Reporter: Well, so much dynamics in this atmosphere and how much power with this storm. When you see these pictures, full-size SUVs, heavy trucks tossed like toys. More back there. 800 vehicles here, all of which are damaged, some of which will be totalled. Of course, they're grateful that no one was killed here. But the energy from this system, part of it going through the northeast, as David mentioned. Here it is on the radar. We still have a couple of thunderstorm watches posted, but it's going mostly offshore. Another pulse coming through tonight through West Virginia. And then another setup here in the plains, tornado watch out for the Texas panhandle and flood warnings for Tulsa, Wichita, Springfield. That's going to be a problem. These storms will produce heavy rain, along with severe weather across Oklahoma City, during the day tomorrow in through Wichita. That's the flood zone. Kansas City, as well. You see the system doesn't move too much. That threat will continue right through the weekend. David? Unfortunately we'll be watching it all. Rob, our thanks to you again tonight. We move on this evening to

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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