5 Dead, Dozens Injured as Tornadoes Hit Plains

Several tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma and Kansas

 

 
 
 

TIM TALLEY | | Tuesday, May 11, 2010


NORMAN, Okla. - Violent storms that tore through the southern Plains killed five people and injured dozens more, leaving behind flattened homes, toppled semitrailers and downed power lines.

Several tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma and Kansas on Monday as the storms moved through the area, dumping hail as big as baseballs, splintering mobile homes and leaving thousands of people without power.

"The kids and I got in the closet and prayed," said Jamie Keyes, of Norman, an Oklahoma City suburb that is home to the University of Oklahoma. "I heard a hiss. It was like something was whistling very loud."

Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Chief Cecil Clay refused to rule out the possibility of finding more dead, but said conditions were tough for rescue workers early Tuesday.

"We have heavy fog (and) power lines down making it difficult to see all the hazards out there. We'll wait for more sunshine to resume our search."

Emergency authorities in Oklahoma City urged residents to stay off the roads in affected areas to allow rescue workers to search for survivors among the wreckage of their homes.

Police Capt. Patrick Stewart said officers closed off four neighborhoods because gas leaks, downed power lines and debris on the ground had made conditions hazardous.

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokesman Jerry Lojka said two people were killed in Oklahoma City and three were killed in Cleveland County, south of the city. Oklahoma City officials said the fatalities there involved a young boy who was hit by debris in his home and a man whose recreational vehicle flipped over on top of him. Details on the Cleveland County deaths weren't immediately available.

Officials reported that at least 58 others were injured _ two of them critically _ in a tornado outbreak that forecasters had been predicting since last week.

In Norman _ Cleveland County's largest city with about 106,000 residents _ Tim Tegeler checked out the damage to his windows, air conditioner and fence at his home. Tegeler, his wife, their daughters and their pet fish had taken shelter in their laundry room until the storms passed.

"We saw it coming, but the best thing is my family's fine," Tegeler said.

Neighbor Linda Sugg was picking up debris in her front yard.

"You could just hear stuff hitting the house," said Sugg, who was in her home during the storms.

The storms left trailers crushed at a mobile home community in Slaughterville, Okla.

Near Seminole, about 60 miles east of Oklahoma City, at least two homes were leveled after a tornado went through, Emergency Management Director Ernie Willis said. The town's airport suffered extensive damage and several planes there were destroyed, he said.

Gov. Brad Henry said he would tour affected areas Tuesday.

The weather was expected to be more settled the day after the storm, said meteorologist Ty Judd with the National Weather Service in Norman.

"There is a chance of thunderstorms later this afternoon," Judd said early Tuesday. "We're not looking at what we saw yesterday."

Judd said a preliminary estimate counted 10 tornado touchdowns in Oklahoma Monday.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric reported more than 17,000 customers remained without power Tuesday morning, down from more than 34,000 late Monday. American Electric Power reported about 1,500 outages, down from more than 2,500.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said rural electric cooperatives had about 30,000 outages.

In Kansas, the most serious damage was reported in Belmont. Several homes were hit in the town east of Topeka and there were widespread power outages. But no injuries were reported.

In Alfalfa County, Sheriff Charlie Tucker said baseball-sized hail broke the windshields of numerous cars and damaged homes.

"I came home once to look at my own personal vehicle and the windshield was all bashed out. The grandchildren's swing set was up and now it's gone, so there was straight-line winds that came through," Tucker said.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, Industry News, triage, tornado, oklahoma, natural disaster, mass casualty, kansas, incidnet command, collapse

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >