DEAR READER…PLEASE, RIGHT NOW COME IN AGREEMENT WITH ME THIS DEADLY WEATHER IN OKLAHOMA MUST CEASE AND DESIST IN THE NAME OF JESUS! WE TAKE OUR AUTHORITY JUST AS JESUS DID WHEN HE AND HIS DISCIPLES WERE SAILING TO THE OTHER SIDE AND A WIND OF HURRICANE PROPORTIONS AROSE. HE SAID, “PEACE BE STILL!!” AND THAT IS WHAT WE SAY! WE SPEAK PEACE TO THIS WEATHER IN OKLAHOMA AND THAT PEACE MUST COME NOW!!! WE PLEAD THE BLOOD OF JESUS OVER EVERYONE THAT HAS BEEN IN THIS STORM’S PATH AND SPEAK PROTECTIVE GUARDIAN ANGELS TO SURROUND THEM! WE SAY ALL BAD WEATHER MUST STOP AND STOP PERMANENTLY!! IN JESUS’ MIGHTY NAME WE PRAY!! AMEN!
A mile-wide tornado with 200 MPH winds churned through Oklahoma City‘s suburbs Monday afternoon, causing significant property damage for the second day in a row, as part of a severe weather outbreak that was expected to spread in other parts of the Plains and Midwest.
Television footage on Monday afternoon showed homes and buildings that had been reduced to rubble in Moore, Okla., south of Oklahoma City. Footage also showed vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City.
Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department said the Briarwood Elementary School in Moore suffered “extensive damage.” A Norman, Okla. regional health system spokesperson told Fox News that Moore Medical Center, the only hospital in the city, also suffered “extensive structural damage,” demolishing the second floor of the hospital and tearing off part of the roof.
The center evacuated 30 patients to two other hospitals in Norman, Okla. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The National Weather Service said the tornado was on the ground for nearly 40 minutes, with the first tornado warning coming 16 minutes before it touched down. The preliminary damage rating on the enhanced fujita scale was EF4 — the second most-powerful type of twister — and carved a 20-mile path through Newcastle, Moore and South Oklahoma City.
Search and rescue crews are now staging at the Warren Theater in Moore to look for anyone who may be trapped in the rubble, Fox 25 reports. Aerial flyovers showed crowds of residents picking through debris, while one resident told Fox News that children were trapped under cars at an elementary school.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said downed power lines and open gas lines posed a risk for rescue teams in the aftermath of the system.
“This is absolute devastation like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” Betsy Randolph, with Oklahoma State Police, told Fox 25.” This may be worse than the May 3rd, 1999 tornado.”
The strongest winds on earth — 302 mph — were recorded near Moore that year.
At the Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was also hit, students were hugging and clinging to the walls of the school as the tornado passed over, KFOR reports.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation closed I-35 in both directions near Norman, Okla., to assist with cleaning up the debris.
In advance of the storm, the Oklahoma House of Representatives stopped work so Capitol employees could take shelter in the basement. Television and radio broadcasters urged residents to take shelter because the storm’s strength and size.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman had predicted a major outbreak of severe weather Monday in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The National Weather Service has also issued tornado watches and warnings for counties in Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
On Sunday, at least two people were killed and 29 were injured in Oklahoma as a severe storm system generated several tornadoes in Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, leveling neighborhoods and sending frightened residents scurrying for shelter as extreme conditions are expected to linger across the Midwest.
The tornadoes, high winds and hail have been part of a massive, northeastward-moving storm system that has stretched from Texas to Minnesota.
“It’s pretty bad. It’s pretty much wiped out.”
– Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth
At least four separate twisters touched down in central Oklahoma late Sunday afternoon, including one near the town of Shawnee, 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, that laid waste to much of a mobile home park.
Oklahoma state medical examiner’s office spokeswoman Amy Elliott on Monday said the two people killed in the tornado were 79-year-old Glen Irish and 76-year-old Billy Hutchinson. Both men were from Shawnee.
Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said one man, later identified as Irish, was found dead out in the open at Steelman Estates, but the sheriff didn’t have details on where he had lived.
“You can see where there’s absolutely nothing, then there are places where you have mobile home frames on top of each other, debris piled up,” Booth said. “It looks like there’s been heavy equipment in there on a demolition tour … It’s pretty bad. It’s pretty much wiped out.”
A storm spotter told the National Weather Service that the tornado & quotscoured" the landscape in the park and an area along Interstate 40. Officials said drivers should expect delays along the highway in Shawnee as crews continue to clean up storm debris. Westbound Interstate 40 was closed Sunday night at U.S. 177 after storms ripped through the area. U.S. 177 was also shut down because of vehicle accidents caused by the severe weather.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said northbound U.S. 177 at I-40 was reopened as of 7 a.m. Monday. Westbound traffic on I-40 is narrowed to one lane, but all lanes are expected to reopen later in the day.
Gov. Mary Fallin declared an emergency for 16 Oklahoma counties because of the severe storms and flooding. The declaration lets local governments acquire goods quickly to respond to their residents’ needs and puts the state in line for federal help if it becomes necessary.
In Enid, Okla. on Saturday, a police officer was injured in high winds when his cruiser was struck by an object. Area emergency manager Mike Honigsberg told The Oklahoman that the car may have been hit by a cattle trough lifted by the wind. In Oklahoma City, an officer was trapped for a time when surrounded by fallen utility lines.
Another tornado grazed the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond Sunday afternoon, dropping hail as large as a grapefruit and damaging roofs and structures before heading east. Aerial flyovers in Wellston, northeast of Oklahoma City, showed significant property damage.
“I knew it was coming,” said Edmond resident Randy Grau, who huddled with his wife and two young boys in their Edmond home’s safe room when the tornado hit. He said he peered out his window as the weather worsened and believed he saw a flock of birds heading down the street.
“Then I realized it was swirling debris,” Grau said. “That’s when we shut the door of the safe room. I probably had them in there for 10 minutes.”
Dozen of counties in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri were placed under tornado watches and warnings that were in effect through late Sunday.
In Wichita, Kan., a tornado touched down near Mid-Content Airport on the city’s southwest side shortly before 4 p.m., knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses but bypassing the most populated areas of Kansas’ biggest city. The Wichita tornado was an EF1 — the strength of tornado on the enhanced Fujita scale — with winds of 110 mph, according to the weather service.
Carl Brewer, the mayor of Wichita, told Fox News that the city was hit harder by high winds and golf ball-sized hail than anything from the tornado.
“That alone, and the rain, actually just really did a number on the city,” he said. “It was so bad you think a tornado came through.”
Brewer said hail ripped through the sides of houses in Wichita, in addition to breaking windows and damaging cars.
Jim Raulston, of Wichita, said the ferocious winds slammed the hailstones into his home.
“It was just unbelievable how the hail and everything was just coming straight sideways,” Raulston said.
The National Weather Service also reported two tornadoes touched down in Iowa Sunday — near Huxley and Earlham. Damage included the loss of some cattle when the storm blew over a barn on a farm in Mitchell County. Some 11,000 homes were without power early Monday.