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Baseball-sized hail pummels more than 4,000 cars in Nebraska, midwest braces for more storms

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OMAHA, Neb. – The hail that pummeled 4,300 vehicles at Woodhouse Auto Family doesn’t even compare to what the car dealership chain expects to get Wednesday.

“The damage is substantial,” Woodhouse Chief Financial Officer Paul Cech said. “We’ll get people all over the country calling us trying to get discount prices.”

That’s exactly what happened the last time the Omaha company’s cars got battered in a storm. As soon as the hail subsides, a flood of callers try to get their hands on banged-up vehicles.

As other parts of Nebraska try to clean up from Tuesday’s baseball-size hail, several states are dealing with the aftermath of possible tornadoes.

Officials received at least 11 reports of possible tornadoes in Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and Kansas by late Tuesday night, the Storm Prediction Center said.

And the threat of severe weather isn’t over yet.

More storms in the Midwest

Severe storms will likely move east to the Ohio and Tennessee valleys on Wednesday, CNN meteorologist Todd Borek said.

Southern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia are under the gun.

“Tornadoes, hail, damaging winds and heavy rain are all threats for the area,” Borek said.

By Thursday morning, thunderstorms and rain will likely reach the Mid-Atlantic, the National Weather Service said.

A huge mess

Across Nebraska, residents shared photos on social media showing large hail Tuesday and damage the hail left behind.

An Omaha police sergeant posted a picture of what he said was an officer’s dented car, its windshield shattered.

And then there was the flooding.

Police and firefighters rescued residents stranded by floodwater in Omaha — sometimes by boat, CNN affiliate KETV reported.

Just across the Missouri River, the storm ripped off a roof of a hotel in Missouri Valley, Iowa, KETV said.

And a wind gust of 100 mph was reported in Ringgold County, Iowa.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad issued a storm disaster proclamation Tuesday night for Pottawattamie County, where the storms hit while voters were heading to the polls for primary elections.