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Deadly twisters blast across OK

Two people killed as violent weather damages hundreds of homes and businesses

BY BOYCE BOWDON | OKLAHOMA CITY | May 11, 2010

Two people were killed and at nearly 60 others were injured—two critically—when approximately two dozen tornadoes, cut a path Monday from border to border across Oklahoma.

The twisters flattened buildings of all sizes, tossed cars and 18-wheelers off the road, snapped trees, and knocking down major transmission lines, leaving at least 35,000 homes and businesses without power.

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokesman Jerry Lojka reports that two people were killed in Oklahoma City and three were killed in Cleveland County, south of the city. In addition, an Oklahoma County woman suffered a fatal heart attack while heading for a storm shelter.

Many people were leaving work when tornado sirens started screeching at about 5:00 p.m. in the Oklahoma City metro, where about 5o homes were destroyed and about 40 were damaged.

Interstate 40—an east-west highway— was closed several hours while emergency personnel cared for the injured and cleanup crews removed debris and downed power lines from the road.

Interstate 35 near the Kansas-Oklahoma border was closed also closed while tractor-trailers, which had been blown over and were blocking all lanes, were removed.

High winds blew out windows of buildings at the National Weather Service campus in Norman. The helicopter that transports victims to the Oklahoma University Medical Center’s Level 1 trauma center was also damaged by the storm.

In Seminole, about 70 miles east of Oklahoma City, the tornado heavily damaged buildings and planes at the municipal airport.

In parts of the state, hail—some bigger than baseballs—accompanied the wind, smashing windshields and windows.

The storms—which forecasters had been predicting for a week—were part of a violent weather system that also spawned twisters in Kansas and hit Arkansas after leaving Oklahoma.


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Wicked weather hits NE Texas

Tornado hits Michigan town

Tornadoes tear through Illinois and Midwest


More links on Tornadoes

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