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Strong winds, twisters sweep across Midwest

BY GEORGE PIPER | HULBERT, Okla. | June 2, 1999

HULBERT, Okla. (June 2, 1999) -- Tornadoes and strong winds claimed two lives

and damaged dozens of buildings across a five-state area on Tuesday.

One person died and six others injured when a twister struck near Fort

Gibson Lake in eastern Oklahoma. More than two dozen weekend homes were

damaged near Sequoyah State Park, although most were unoccupied when the

storm hit.

At Lawton, in the state's southwest corner, softball-sized hail damaged more

than 200 homes and business and left 60 families homeless. The American Red

Cross is assisting survivors in that area.

The system moved across the state line into Arkansas, where suspected

tornadoes toppled poultry farms and trees, although no other major damage is

reported.

Further north, storms rolled across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana where

thousands of homes lost power during the storm.

Most of the damage occurred across central Illinois, where one person died

and two were injured at a crowded rest stop on Interstate 55 between

Springfield and St. Louis. More than a dozen homes were affected, and

officials were out assessing the damage early Wednesday.

Several homes and businesses are reported damaged in the Missouri

communities of Houston and Lecoma, although details are not available.

At least 30 tornadoes were reported on Tuesday following a relatively quiet

Memorial Day weekend. Fourteen twisters touched down on Monday, but no

significant damage is reported.

Posted June 2, 1999


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