Meteorologists warned that “a particularly dangerous situation” was developing in Oklahoma, with three tornadoes reported across the state and tens of thousands without power Friday night. At least five people have been killed.
02:23 GMT: Two more fatalities were reported in a car in
Union City and another person, according to KWTV, was found dead
in El Reno. This update raises the Oklahoma death toll to
02:20 GMT: Integris Canadian Valley Hospital in Yukon,
Oklahoma has admitted 14 patients, three of them critical, along
with the deceased mother and child, CNN reports.
01:14 GMT: A tornado warning has been issued for St.
Charles and St. Louis, Missouri. Residents are advised to take
shelter below ground or evacuate north immediately.
01:07 GMT: As many as six overturned semi-trucks are
laying on their side along the I-40 highway near Oklahoma City,
reports The Oklahoman.
Current reports indicate 40,000 people are without power, with
flash flooding exceeding 5 inches in some areas of Oklahoma City.
00:55 GMT: One of the tornadoes traveled the same route as
the devastating funnel that ravaged Moore on May 20, although
forecasters stressed the winds were much weaker than the 200 mph
gusts that ravaged the area.
00:45 GMT: Another, smaller tornado has been reported in
Del City, according to KFOR, where the town’s city hall has
opened as a public shelter.
00:40 GMT: Oklahoma Highway Patrol is now warning
motorists to leave I-40 and flee the area as a storm approaches
00:38 GMT: The number of Oklahomans who have lost power as
a result of the storms continues to increase, with Michael
Knopasek of KWTV reporting over 31,611 are now in the dark. That
number is expected to rise as “massive power flashes” have
kept the area flickering.
00:28 GMT: At least 22,000 people are now without
electricity in Moore and the Oklahoma City metro area as power
flashes continue to jolt the area, KFOR reports.
00:23 GMT: One tornado, traveling from the southwest, has
increased in speed from 25 mph to 50 mph while another storm has
broken 100 mph. Siren warnings are blaring throughout Oklahoma
City and Moore, just south of the city limits.
00:19 GMT: “This huge storm could produce a tornado
just about anywhere,” said KWTV anchor Gary England, adding
that multiple tornadoes had already sprouted in the region
00:16 GMT: Flash flood warnings were issued for Canadian
and Oklahoma County until 11:15 pm local time Friday. At least
12,000 people are without power in Oklahoma City, CNN has
Authorities repeatedly warned residents to immediately drive
south or take cover underground as the “destructive”
tornado vortex was rapidly approaching the Oklahoma City
metropolitan area, where heavy fatalities are possible.
Earlier in the day the National Weather Service advised that
large hail and wind gusts of 80 miles per hour were possible.
Several tornadoes could result, they warned, because of the
strength of the initial storm. Storm warnings are in effect until
midnight local time, with residents being warned to take cover.
A mother and child were killed after being thrown from their
vehicle, according to local KWTV. Meanwhile Moore, Oklahoma was
expecting 85 mph winds.
Large sections of Oklahoma City were already without power as the
storm approached highway I-35, where stopped rush hour traffic
resembled a “parking lot,” according to a KWTV reporter.
Meteorologists warned drivers to steer off the roads immediately,
or abandon their vehicles if need be.
Residents told KFOR that “baseball-sized hail” was raining
down on Oklahoma City and the surrounding area. The station’s
meteorologist referred to the storm as “violent” Friday
evening as coverage continued.
Winds have been strong enough to force vehicles off the road,
with The Weather Channel claiming that its Tornado Hunt truck was
thrown “200 yards” by the winds.
More than 1,000 people at Will Rogers Airport evacuated into an
underground safety tunnel as a precaution.
This article originally appeared on: RT
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