Severe floods in tornado-hit Oklahoma

2013-06-01 16:27
Flipped semi-trailer on Interstate 40

Flipped semi-trailer on Interstate 40

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Washington - Flooding has hit Oklahoma in the wake of a series of tornadoes that killed at least five people, media reported on Saturday.

Large parts of Oklahoma City were inundated, as heavy storms dumped up to 25cm of rain in a short time, local media said.

The city's Will Rogers Airport evacuated passengers to an underground tunnel, the airport wrote on Twitter.

About 50 000 people were without power, Oklahoma Gas & Electric said.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood and severe thunderstorm warnings for the area. It had declared a tornado emergency late on Friday for the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

Parts of the interstate highways that pass through Oklahoma City and Moore, were "a parking lot", as rush-hour commuters were trapped by the storms, the weather service said.

State highway troopers reported numerous car crashes across the region, with roads also blocked due to violent thunderstorms causing flash flooding.

A tornado on Friday night struck the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, where a much larger twister on 20 May had killed 24 people, including 10 children.

A woman and her baby travelling along Interstate 40 outside of Oklahoma City were among the victims of Friday's twisters when their car rolled over, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol told broadcaster KFOR. Details of the other three deaths were not immediately clear.

A further powerful tornado hit the state of Missouri as the severe weather moved eastward early on Saturday.

No deaths or catastrophic damage were reported, a spokesperson for St Louis Mayor Francis Slay told CNN.

Read more on:    us  |  weather  |  oklahoma tornado
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