Thirteen Dead, Hundreds Hurt After Latest Oklahoma Tornadoes
OKLAHOMA CITY (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — At least 13 people were killed and more than 100 injured after a series of tornadoes dropped out of the sky Friday in storm-weary central Oklahoma, flipping 18-wheelers, smashing homes and businesses and leaving a mother and her child dead.
The broad storm hit during the evening rush hour, causing havoc on I-40, a major artery connecting suburbs east and west of the city.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the mother and child were killed as their vehicle encountered the storm. Troopers found their bodies near a vehicle along Interstate 40 west of the city Friday according to Trooper Betsy Randolph.
Storm chasers with cameras in their car transmitted video showing a number of funnels dropping from the supercell thunderstorm as it passed south of El Reno and into Oklahoma City just south of downtown. Police urged motorists to leave the crosstown Interstate 40 and seek a safe place.
The scene was eerily like that from last week, when blackened skies generated a top-of-the-scale EF5 storm with 210 mph winds, killing 24 people at Moore, on Oklahoma City’s south side. Friday’s storms were moving just to the north of Moore and appeared not to be as strong as last week’s storm.
“They’re just tooling around right now. They’re starting to dissipate a little bit,” said Nick Mosley, who works at the Love’s Travel Stop in El Reno. Motorists packed the store as the storm approached.
At Will Rogers World Airport southwest of Oklahoma City, passengers were directed into underground tunnels and inbound and outbound flights were canceled.
Damage was reported in Canadian County, immediately to the west of the capital city, and television cameras showed debris falling from the sky and power transformers being knocked out by high winds.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said a number of motorists were injured and that a few were missing. Numerous vehicles were damaged, leaving motorists stranded on the sides of roads, Trooper Betsy Randolph said.