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May 20, 2013

UPDATE: Tornado-hit states brace for more bad storms

(Continued)

SHAWNEE —

“We got in the truck and left,” Carter said. With upward of 30 minutes’ notice for Pottawatomie County, Carter had time to leave one of the few frame homes in Steelman Estates — and most of her house was intact when she returned.

“I walked up, and the house was OK. Part of the roof was gone,” she said.

The scene was different a short distance away.

“Trees were all gone. I walked further down and all those houses were gone,” she said.

Booth said a 79-year-old man, who was later identified as Glen Irish, was found dead out in the open at Steelman Estates. The state medical examiner’s office said Monday that a 76-year-old man, Billy Hutchinson, also died, although it didn’t say whether he was found dead or died at a hospital. The office said both men lived in Shawnee, but the city wasn’t hit by the tornado and it wasn’t immediately clear if either or both lived in the mobile home park, which is near the city.

“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,” Booth said. “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.

Tornadoes were reported Sunday in Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma as part of a storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota.

Emergency officials traversed the neighborhoods struck in Oklahoma in an effort to account for everyone. Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said that, many times in such situations, people who are not found immediately are discovered later to have left the area ahead of the storm.

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