Flash floods and hail lash Omaha as power goes out for thousands

Flash floods and hail lash Omaha as power goes out for thousands
Motorists were trapped in their cars, people reportedly were swimming in elevators, and 14,000 homes lost power after a severe thunderstorm in Omaha on Saturday

Hail as large as coins and torrential rain fell on Omaha, turning streets into torrents and wiping out power for thousands of city residents.

The flash flooding submerged cars, forcing drivers to abandon them to seek safety, tore up paving on roads, and left 14,000 homes without power for hours on Saturday night in the Nebraska city.

The Omaha Fire Department responded to 105 weather-related emergency calls in three hours.

Large hail stones fell in Omaha Nebraska on Saturday night

There were unconfirmed reports that three people became trapped in an elevator that filled with water, and were swimming to stay above the rising water before being rescued.

Photos of hail stones larger than one cent coins were taken by Omaha residents.

The National Weather Service warned residents in the downtown area of Omaha to seek higher ground, and issued a severe thunderstorm warning after recording five inches of rainfall in some parts of the state.

The NWS in Omaha have warned more severe thunderstorms could be on the way Monday.

The climate crisis is causing more frequent extreme weather events including inland flash flooding, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.