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Thunderstorms from Texas to Ohio, some tornadoes

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (Reuters) - Severe thunderstorms were expected in a band from Texas through to Ohio on Saturday with isolated tornado warnings as residents recoiled from a storm that swept the west side of St. Louis, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for parts of southern Illinois to northern Kentucky and southwest Ohio amid severe thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon.

The storms have produced significant damage to trees and power lines and are capable of producing winds of more than 80 miles per hour, the weather service said.

Areas of Texas, including Dallas, were on watch for severe thunderstorms, the weather service said.

A storm roared through the St. Louis area on Friday night, forcing the closure of its tornado-battered airport at least until Sunday, destroying dozens of homes, tossing cars and trucks and knocking out power to thousands of residents.

St. Louis hopes to bring the airport to 70 percent of capacity on Sunday and back to normal flights by midweek.

Conditions were brewing for severe weather from central Texas to the far-southern reaches of Missouri south of St. Louis late Saturday afternoon and into the evening, AccuWeather.com said.

"A stalled front draped across the lower Midwest and central and southern Plains will generate severe storms again on Saturday and Sunday," weather.com said.

"Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes are all possible with this disturbance."

The weather service forecast slight risk for severe thunderstorms Saturday from the boot-heel of Missouri and parts of Mississippi, Arkansas and western Tennessee, with much better chances for severe weather Monday through Wednesday.

In northwest Tennessee, a severe thunderstorm was producing quarter-sized hail and high winds, the weather service said.

"Our next big one is going to be Tuesday and Wednesday," said Danny Gant, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Memphis, Tennessee. "Wednesday looks to be the worst of the two. Looks like all threats are possible."

Two strong weather systems could bring several inches of rain, damaging winds, very large hail and tornadoes early next week in the region, the weather service said.

The National Weather Service also saw a slight risk for severe thunderstorms in eastern West Virginia and northern and central Virginia on Saturday.

"A few storms will be capable of producing large hail and damaging wind gusts," the National Weather Service said.

(Reporting by Bruce Olson, Tim Ghianni and David Bailey; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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