Three dead after dozens of tornadoes strike Oklahoma; scores injured

By Thomson Reuters Apr 28, 2024 | 1:35 PM

By Rich McKay

(Reuters) – At least three people died, including a four-month-old baby, and scores were injured in Oklahoma this weekend after dozens of twisters swept the U.S. Southern Plains, while weather alerts on Sunday put more than 7 million Americans under tornado warnings.

Storm warnings for high winds, heavy rain and hail also were issued by the National Weather Service on Sunday for more than 47 million people stretching from East Texas all the way up through Illinois and Wisconsin.

The unsettled weather is forecast to continue across the mid-section of the country into Monday, the weather service said.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Sunday declared a “disaster emergency” for the state, freeing up more money for first responders and recovery operations. Stitt said in a video message posted on social media that he planned to tour the storm damage on Sunday and asked for prayers for those suffering.

The NWS reported 38 possible twisters hit the area and that the worst of the storms rolled through Central Oklahoma on Saturday into early Sunday morning, spreading into northwest Texas, western Missouri and Kansas.

The deaths were reported by the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management which also reported more than 30 injuries, and dozens of homes destroyed of damaged.

The agency cautioned that the extent of the destruction was still being assessed, amid a mess of downed trees and power lines and debris-strewn roads.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Mary Milliken and Matthew Lewis)