Tornadoes raking communities across the Midwest and Plains left five people dead and at least 29 injured in Oklahoma, damaging a hospital, homes and other buildings as a vast severe weather front plunged eastward Sunday across the nation's midsection.Thanks to online streaming, I spent several hours last night watching live TV coverage from Oklahoma City and Wichita as first a complex of storms with a tornado moved out of Oklahoma and tracked all the way past Wichita, hitting the southern suburbs, and then a little later as a line developed in Western Oklahoma and began the march across the state. I was watching Channel 9 in Oklahoma City as one of their storm spotters reported a large tornado hitting Woodward, OK, almost with no warning. The sirens in town never went off and many were warned only by the TV and radio reports.
Oklahoma emergency officials said five people died after a tornado touched down at 12:18 a.m. Sunday in and around the northwest Oklahoma town of Woodward, the high winds damaging homes, toppling trees and downing power lines about 140 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The brunt of the damage was reported on the west side of the town of about 12,000 and its outskirts, where search teams scoured the rubble for hours for any still trapped or injured.
Storms also were reported in Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska as a wide-ranging storm system lumbered its way across the nation's midsection Saturday and Sunday.
There's still a chance of storms today, though the tornado threat is reduced. It's that time of the year.