NORMAN, Okla. – Tornadoes ripped through parts of the southern Plains on Monday in an outbreak of violent weather that killed five people and injured dozens of others as cars went flying off highways, mobile homes flipped over and baseball-size hail came crashing through windshields.
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 critically – in the daylong onslaught throughout Oklahoma. In some neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, emergency workers were going door to door to make sure everyone was accounted for.
The storms were part of a violent weather system that also spawned twisters in Kansas and that forecasters had been predicting since last week.
“You could just hear stuff hitting the house,” said Linda Sugg, who rode out the storm in her home in Norman, the largest city in Cleveland County with about 106,000 residents.
Power was out to more than 37,000 homes and businesses statewide.