- (Photo: Reuters/Gene Blevins)
- (Photo: Reuters/Bill Waugh)
Tornadoes swept through five states in the U.S. Midwest on Sunday, killing a 79-year-old man in Oklahoma and injuring dozens others. Weather officials have warned that the region could face more severe weather on Monday.
At least four separate tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma, and a massive, northeastward-moving storm system stretching from Texas to Minnesota hit Kansas and Iowa on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.
The death was reported near a mobile home park in Shawnee, Okla. Several more were unaccounted for, according to Weather.com. At least 21 others in the state received injuries.
The Steelman Estates Mobile Home Park, about 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, bore the brunt, and overturned tractor-trailers blocked a section of a highway, making it difficult for rescuers to get into the area.
"It took a dead hit," resident James Hoke was quoted as saying. "Everything is gone... My father-in-law was buried under the house. We had to pull Sheetrock off of him."
"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," Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth was quoted as saying. "It looks like there's been heavy equipment in there on a demolition tour. It's pretty bad. It's pretty much wiped out," he said.
Gov. Mary Fallin declared an emergency for 16 Oklahoma counties. "We had so many communities that had major storms and tornadoes dropping out of the sky, all over the state, a lot going on at one time so, it was pretty hectic," Fallin was quoted as saying.
In Wichita, Kan., a tornado hit near Mid-Content Airport in the afternoon, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power. It could have caused more damage had it not bypassed the most populated areas of the city.
Tornadoes also touched down in Huxley and Grundy County near Des Moines, Iowa, The Des Moines Register reported.
Tornado watches and warnings were in effect in most parts of the country's midsection as of late Sunday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center has warned of similar weather for Monday over much of the same area.
Forecasters had been warning of storms for days, and said conditions ripened for tornadoes on Sunday.
"The probabilities from the SPC [Storm Prediction Center] for storms today are actually higher this morning than they were at this time yesterday," Oklahoma Storm Tracker Jim Cantore was quoted as saying early Monday. "The National Weather Service wants to get the surveys of this damage done early today since these same areas are under threat again today."