Nearly Two Dozen Tornadoes Rip Through Oklahoma

By Jane Geelan-Sayres
|  Tuesday, May 11, 2010  |  Updated 1:27 PM CDT
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Tornadoes touch down in Oklahoma causing widespread damage.

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Twisters Roar Through Heart of Tornado Alley

More than 22 tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma, leveling homes and businesses.
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Severe thunderstorms spawned nearly two dozen tornadoes in Oklahoma Monday afternoon, killing at least five people and injuring dozens.

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokesman Jerry Lojka said two people were killed Oklahoma City and three were killed in Cleveland County, which is south of the city. The agency did not have any additional details, including how the people died.

The twisters tossed cars off highways, flipped mobile homes and dropped baseball-size hail through windshields.

Officials reported that at least 58 additional people suffered injuries throughout the day-long onslaught. Two of the injuries were critical. In some neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, emergency workers were going door to door to make sure everyone was accounted for.

An aerial view of some of the areas hardest hit shows homes destroyed, a Love's Country Store missing its roof, U-Haul trucks turned on their side and widespread debris near Lake Stanley Draper in southeast Oklahoma.

The National Weather Service said there were two reports of tornadoes in Canadian, Grant, Kay and Noble counties. Tornado
warnings were also issued for the Oklahoma City metro area, where television footage showed a tornado near Yukon, and near Moore and Norman Monday afternoon.

In Norman, neighbors and rescue crews could be seen digging out a family trapped in their storm shelter after a tornado passed through the neighborhood. According to reports, the storm had lifted the garage on top of the storm shelter's entrance. But a short time later, everyone walked out of the debris -- a little shaken -- but looking well.

In northwestern Oklahoma, at least one person sustained minor injuries, one home was destroyed and two were more damaged when a tornado moved through Grant County near the Kansas border. Grant County Emergency Management Director Max Hess said one man scraped his elbow when winds knocked him down as he was trying to get to his cellar.

Hess also said numerous power poles have been knocked down along Oklahoma 11 and baseball-sized hail knocked out
windows in county equipment and poked a hole through a county building roof.

The storms were part of a violent weather system that also spawned twisters in Kansas and that forecasters had been predicting since last week.

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