A mother and her baby were killed by a tornado that barreled through Missouri and Oklahoma City less than two weeks after a massive twister ravaged the nearby suburb of Moore.
At least three tornadoes swept through Oklahoma on Friday May 31, trapping rush-hour commuters on interstates 40 and 35 as they attempted to beat the storms home, the Associated Press reported. One of them hit Moore, which is still picking up the pieces from the May 20 tornado that cut a 22-mile swathe through the small town.
“It became very large, very fast,” said Brandon Sullivan, a storm chaser speaking to CNN. He said that as he and his crew fled ahead of the storm in their SUV, debris, the advance winds of the tornado flung debris in front and behind them, hit the car. Then things changed.
“It turned right and came right at us,” he said.
They escaped, but a film crew from the Weather Channel was not so lucky. Their vehicle was thrown a good 200 yards, landing on its roof. The occupants escaped without serious injury.
More than 190,000 homes and businesses were without power across the Midwest after severe thunderstorms dumped rain, baseball-sized hail and floodwaters on the state capital and some of its suburbs. Flights were canceled as the airport was closed down, CNN reported. A good eight to 11 inches of rain fell, flooding Oklahoma City's streets, CNN said. Severe thunderstorm warnings were still in effect in Oklahoma City late Friday, though the tornado threat had abated. Flash-flood warnings were in effect for several counties in northern Indiana as well as other Midwestern states.
The National Weather Service issued tornado watches for swathes of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri through late Friday, MSNBC reported. Severe storm warnings stretched from Minnesota and Michigan, down south to Arkansas, MSNBC said.
Indian Country is directly in the line of sight of these storms, and the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee and other tribes are all taking donations to help the people of Oklahoma, including the 20 Indian families whose homes were destroyed in the May 20 EF-5 tornado that decimated Moore and killed 24 people.
"This was a dodged bullet, with so many people stuck on roadways," said CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers, speaking to the network's Wolf Blitzer by phone. He said roads were flooded and completely shut down by flooding as well, making for dangerous driving.