Unusually massive line of storms aim at Midwest - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Unusually massive line of storms aim at Midwest

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FILE - In this June 30, 2012, file photo, an American Beech tree is down on Capitol Hill grounds in Washington across from the U.S. Supreme Court after a powerful storm swept across the Washington region. (AP) FILE - In this June 30, 2012, file photo, an American Beech tree is down on Capitol Hill grounds in Washington across from the U.S. Supreme Court after a powerful storm swept across the Washington region. (AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — The National Weather Service is upgrading the risk of storms to its highest alert level for parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The agency's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says there's a high risk that damaging winds will strike in extreme eastern Iowa into northern portions of Illinois and Indiana and northwest portions of Ohio.

Storm Prediction Center Director Russell Schneider says it's the first time this year that the center has used its highest alert level. Wednesday's storms are likely to generate tornadoes and cause power outages.

The storms could affect more than one in five Americans on Wednesday as they rumble from Iowa to Maryland packing hail, lightning and tree-toppling winds.

Schneider says the storm could hit Chicago around rush hour.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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