- A powerful storm causes damage near Lawton, Oklahoma, a sheriff says
- There are no immediate reports of injuries, though some buildings are damaged
- Parts of Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma faced tornado threats
- The severe weather threat moves east Thursday, with parts of nine states in danger
A strong storm Wednesday evening damaged a Goodyear tire plant and other buildings around Lawton, Oklahoma, Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
A tornado watch was in effect Wednesday night for that area, as were a severe thunderstorm warning and a flash flood warning, according to the National Weather Service.
Earlier Wednesday, the Storm Prediction Center reported "significant severe weather is expected over parts of the southern/central plains later today and tonight."
The center, which is part of the National Weather Service, predicted that southeastern Kansas, western Missouri, northern Texas and most of Oklahoma were the areas most likely to be hit by "potentially significant and long-tracked" tornadoes.
Lawton, Oklahoma, for instance, was hit by showers and thunderstorms Wednesday night, though conditions should improve in that city -- located about 85 miles southwest of Oklahoma City -- as the week goes on.
By then, the threat of damaging weather will have moved farther east. The storm prediction center is forecasting a moderate chance
of severe weather on Thursday for a narrow stretch that nonetheless touches nine states, from Michigan in the north to Louisiana in the south.