At least five people die from tornadoes in Oklahoma (video)
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By Derrick Henry
At least five people were reported dead Monday night in Oklahoma after severe weather caused tornadoes to form across parts of the southern Plains, with some touching down with deadly force in the Oklahoma City area.
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The storm cut a path of destruction that flipped vehicles over on roads and flattened or splintered houses. In news footage from KFOR-TV in Norman, some houses appeared to have simply been shaven from their foundations. A video also showed a tornado rapidly crossing a highway, dwarfing speeding cars as it continued along a grassy field.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management told The Associated Press that two people were killed in Oklahoma City and three in Cleveland County, south of the city. The agency did not immediately have additional details, including how the people died.
Officials also reported that at least 58 others suffered injuries throughout Oklahoma because of severe weather. Two of those injured were in critical condition. In some neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, emergency workers were going door to door to make sure everyone was accounted for. The severe weather also hit parts of Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.
In Cleveland County, a tornado with winds of 103 mph touched down about 4 miles southeast of Norman, then crossed a highway. Roofs were blown off, and power lines were reported damaged. In Kay County, near Braman, officials reported that a tornado flipped over cars as it sped through. Storm spotters in Noble County reported debris in the air that had been swept up by tornadoes.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., issued a tornado warning that remained in effect until midnight central daylight time Monday for 25 counties in eastern Oklahoma, four counties in western Arkansas, nine counties in southeastern Kansas and five counties in southwestern Missouri. The watch area stretched along a line from 45 miles northeast of Chanute, Kan., to 65 miles south of McAlester, Okla., the weather service said in an advisory.
The advisory also warned of hail up to 4 inches in diameter, wind gusts of up to 80 mph and lightning. Weather scientists at the storm prediction center had predicted the severe weather, saying that the atmosphere contained the right combination of winds, heat and moisture to create dangerous conditions. Oklahoma officials also had warned residents to prepare for the storms' potential damage.
Officials also predicted severe weather for Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.