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El Reno, Oklahoma Tornado: 2 dead, dozens wounded



A big tornado crashed through Oklahoma late Saturday killing at least two people leaving a long path of rubble and debris, a decimated motel, overturned cars, and run-down street lamps.

The storm hit the town of El Reno, 25 miles west of Oklahoma City, where on Sunday morning there were dozens of people unaccounted for.

El Reno mayor Matt White confirmed two deaths at a press conference on Sunday and said several people were hospitalized in Oklahoma City, according to the Associated Press. The Skyview Estates mobile home park, reported by CBS News, housed 88 people mobile homes.

"We all have hands on deck," White said. "We have absolutely experienced a traumatic event."

On Sunday morning, a National Weather Service survey team found EF-2 damage, although it was expected that the survey would continue into the afternoon. Tornados with an EF-2 rating have wind speeds of approximately 110 to 135 miles per hour.

In an interview with the AP, Tweety Garrison (63) described the staggering five to ten minutes that the tornado raced through the city of Oklahoma. She and her family were in their mobile home when the Twister touched down. It threw her neighbor's caravan on her own roof.

"We're trapped," Garrison said, remembering a phone call from her 32-year-old son for help. After "clearing a path" and "removing part of an outer wall," Garrison's son was able to save his mother and four others, the AP reported.

El Reno, with more than 19,000 inhabitants, as in other cities and towns in other parts of the southern plains and the Midwest, have weathered a week of heavy thunderstorms, tornadoes and flash floods; The AP reported that at least nine deaths were caused by severe weather in several states.

Since Monday, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, has received more than 150 tornado messages.

Richard Stephens, Police The head of the nearby city of Union City warned the locals that there was a "very dangerous situation in El Reno" tonight. Serious damage with serious injuries and deaths. "

" This is an unfortunate example of how quickly these types of storms can evolve from a simple thunderstorm to a deadly supercell tornado, "Stephens said in a statement on Facebook. "Please pray for those affected by these storms, as well as for the rescuers who help with this ongoing rescue."

This is El Reno's second tornado tragedy in the last six years. On May 31, 2013, 18 people were killed, including four storm hunters, from a 4.2-kilometer-diameter hurricane, the widest on the planet. This storm was blowing 300 miles an hour.


Police arrive Sunday, May 26, 2019, after a likely late-Saturday tornado setting in front of the ruins of a hotel in El Reno, Oklahoma. (Sue Ogrocki)

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