Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

June 1, 2013

UPDATE: 9 dead in OKC tornado

More than 75 injured

OKLAHOMA CITY —

 

Tornadoes rolled in from the prairie and slammed Oklahoma City and its suburbs, trapping people in their vehicles as a storm swept down an interstate highway while commuters tried to beat it home. Nine people have died in the Oklahoma City area after a violent burst of tornadoes and thunderstorms overnight.
Amy Elliott with the state Medical Examiner's Office said Saturday morning that nine fatalities have been confirmed, including two children and seven adults. The previous overall total was seven deaths.
A hospital official in Oklahoma City says more than 75 people were injured during a burst of severe storms and tornadoes on Friday night.
Integris spokeswoman Brooke Cayot said Saturday that the hospital chain had treated 77 people. One remains in critical condition.
Meteorologists had warned about particularly nasty weather Friday but said the storm’s fury didn’t match that of a deadly twister that struck suburban Moore last week. Violent weather also moved through the St. Louis area, ripping part of the roof off a suburban casino.
Friday’s broad storm in Oklahoma hit during the evening rush hour and stuck around, causing havoc on Interstate 40, a major artery connecting suburbs east and west of the city, and dropping so much rain on the area that streets were flooded to a depth of 4 feet.
To the south, a severe storm with winds approaching 80 mph rolled into Moore, where a top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado killed 24 on May 20.
Rick Smith, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service at Norman, said that while the storm packed a powerful punch, it wasn’t as strong as the Moore tornado.
“This storm had everything you could handle at one time: tornadoes, hail, lightning, heavy rain, people clogging the highways,” Smith said.
The region was fortunate because the storm touched down mostly in rural areas and missed central Oklahoma City.

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