Emergency declared in Oklahoma after tornadoes kill one, injure many

More storms predicted in Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday which could produce even more powerful tornadoes across the southern US, says official

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Oklahoma declared a state of emergency in a dozen counties Thursday as the state and several others recovered from severe storms.

Thunderstorm and flash flood warnings were issued for several Great Plains states, a day after a series of tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, causing one death, injuring at least 30 and flattening buildings.

Conditions seemed to be ripe on Friday and Saturday for storms that could produce even more powerful tornadoes across an area covering southern Kansas, western Oklahoma and parts of North Texas, said meteorologist John Hart of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said the storms and flooding have caused extensive damage to public and private properties, issuing an emergency declaration for 12 counties. The weather "threatens the lives and property of the people of this state and the public's peace, health and safety," she added.

Storms that spawned 51 tornadoes in several southern Plains states late Wednesday also brought torrential downpours in central Oklahoma so heavy that a 43-year-old Oklahoma City woman drowned after becoming trapped inside her underground storm cellar.

Heavy winds and dangerous amounts of rain have pounded Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas as well. The rain continued to fall Thursday, pushing some rivers and creeks up to or over their banks.

Six people from a mobile-home park damaged by a tornado southwest of Oklahoma City were taken to a hospital in the region, including an 80-year-old woman in critical condition with hip injuries, hospital spokeswoman Brooke Cayot said.

Thousands of homes and business in Oklahoma were without power on Thursday morning, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission said.

Heavy rain in the spring in this part of the United States is hardly an anomaly. Nor is the flooding that often accompanies it.

TRTWorld and agencies