At least 5 dead after strong storms, tornadoes tear across Midwest, Plains

Historic severe weather outbreak brought wild weather to more than a dozen states

At least five people are now confirmed dead after a historic severe weather outbreak across the Midwest on Wednesday.

The sheriff's office in Olmstead County, Minnesota, said they responded just after 8 p.m. to reports of a tree that had fallen on a man in the Township of Haverhill.

According to officials, a 65-year-old man was visiting a home and went outside to smoke a cigarette. Shortly after, the winds began to pick up and tornado sirens sounded. Everyone in the home had gone to the basement for shelter, but a witness noticed the man had not returned.

After the sirens stopped, the witness went outside and found a large tree had fallen on the man's truck and then located him next to the vehicle.

The tree was on top of the victim and was unresponsive. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

One person in Iowa was also killed during the severe weather. Iowa State Patrol said a tractor-trailer traveling just east of Jefferson, Iowa, was flipped over during the severe weather, killing the driver.

As of Thursday afternoon, no other injuries or fatalities have been announced.

And three people were killed in Kansas in traffic crashes related to the severe weather.

One crash was reported in Haskell County, resulting in the death of one person. According to Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Racy, two other people were killed in a crash in Grant County.

The historic severe weather outbreak brought wild weather to more than a dozen states across the Midwest, spawning rare December tornadoes in the upper Midwest, triple-digit wind gusts in multiple locations, dangerous dust storms, wildfires, record heat and dangerous snow squalls as storms raced across the countryside at highway speeds.