CHICAGO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Two people died and dozens were injured when tornadoes flattened a housing subdivision in Oklahoma and a mobile home park in Wisconsin during powerful spring storms that battered an area from the South Plains of Texas to the Great Lakes.
In Oklahoma, a tornado damaged much of a subdivision on the southern fringe of Elk City, Oklahoma, about 110 miles west of Oklahoma City. Fire Chaplain Danny Ringer told reporters at the scene late Tuesday that one person was known dead from the twister, although few details were available. He also said the storm destroyed 40 homes and damaged 50 to 75 others severely. It was not immediately known if there were injuries.
A tornado also touched down near McLean, Texas — just east of Amarillo. In all, more than two dozen tornado sightings were reported to the National Weather Service Tuesday night across the five states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The storm also brought numerous reports of large hail and strong winds.
The storms hit late in the afternoon Tuesday and into the evening, leveling a mobile home park near Chetek, Wisconsin, about 110 miles northeast of Minneapolis. When first responders arrived at the scene, they could hear the people crying for help in the rubble, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told a local television station. According to the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center, one person at the park died.
More than 25 other people were injured across the state. “It’s a mess,” Fitzgerald told the Leader-Telegram of Eau Claire. “We have at least one deceased so far and we’re still in a search pattern.”
A mobile home is a particularly dangerous place to be during a tornado, according to the National Weather Service. The high winds during a tornado can rip a mobile home, which frequently would not have a foundation, from its moorings.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)