The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office announced 9 deaths, while authorities in Missouri said three people died as a result of flooding.
Less than two weeks after a monster twister ripped through the city of Moore, the death toll from tornadoes that struck Oklahoma and neighbouring States this weekend has jumped to 12, authorities said on Sunday.
Twelve people were killed and 104 were injured, in Friday night’s tornadoes and the resultant flash floods.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office announced nine fatalities, while authorities in Missouri said three people died as a result of flooding there in the aftermath of the storms. More deaths due to flooding is feared.
The latest storms dumped up to 20 centimetres of rain on the Oklahoma City area, causing flash flooding that submerged parts of the sprawling metropolitan area that is home to more than 1.3 million people.
The tornadoes struck during the Friday evening rush hour and many of those hurt or killed were on the roadways.
The Oklahoma Highway patrol said a mother and her baby were killed while travelling on Interstate 40 highway, just west of Oklahoma City, when their car was picked up by the storm and they were sucked out of it.
One person died after he drove his vehicle off a washed out bridge in eastern Oklahoma County today morning, the Oklahoma County sheriff’s office reported.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported death of a 69-year-old woman in Clearview, as she drowned on Saturday morning after driving into the flooded Alabama Creek.
A rescue team from the Oklahoma City Fire Department recovered the body of a 4-year-old from the Oklahoma river, believed to be a member of missing family which took shelter under a bridge during the storms.
Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport sustained some water damage and saw numerous flight cancellations.
Seventeen tornadoes were reported in the Midwest, and more than 212,000 were without power across the region yesterday morning.
Severe storms also hit neighbouring Missouri, where governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on Saturday, and were forecast to move into Illinois.
Nixon said the tornado that hit St.Charles and St.Louis counties had a “very long damage track with over 10 miles of significant damage ... that caused dozens and dozens of houses to be literally blown up.”
Oklahoma Gas and Electric and Ameren said 200,000 customers were without power in Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois.
Meanwhile, a powerful storm caused major damage in Gillespie in southwestern Illinois with seven to 10 homes ripped apart and more than 30 others damaged.
However, there were no injuries in the town of about 3,400 people, despite the fierce winds, Gillespie Mayor John Hicks said.
Friday’s storms were far less damaging than the tornado that hit the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore nearly two weeks ago, leaving 24 dead and demolishing large swathes of the town with winds above 322 kilometres per hour. In total, some 33,000 people were affected.
The United States is hit by an average of 1,200 tornadoes per year. They are particularly prominent in the Great Plains states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Keywords: Oklahoma tornado