Tornadoes Rake Southern Plains 05/19 08:43
A spate of tornadoes raked across the Southern Plains, leaving damage and
causing few injuries, and parts of the region were bracing for more severe
thunderstorms and possible flooding.
DALLAS (AP) -- A spate of tornadoes raked across the Southern Plains,
leaving damage and causing few injuries, and parts of the region were bracing
for more severe thunderstorms and possible flooding.
The National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 twister Saturday morning with
winds up to 130 mph (209 kph) that destroyed at least two homes and left one
person with minor injuries in southwestern Oklahoma.
A suspected tornado caused roof damage to "numerous" homes in northwestern
Arkansas, a state official said, and severe winds downed trees and power lines
across a highway, blocking all lanes.
Energy companies in Oklahoma and Arkansas reported tens of thousands of
customers were without power Saturday afternoon.
Tornadoes touched down Friday in Kansas and rural parts of Nebraska, tearing
up trees and powerlines, and damaging some homes and farm buildings, according
to the National Weather Service.
In Abilene, Texas, a city 150 miles (240 kilometers) west of Fort Worth,
strong winds prompted the evacuation of a nursing home and left numerous homes
and businesses damaged, according to the Abilene Reporter-News . A spokeswoman
for the city said no deaths or serious injuries were reported.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch until 8 p.m. Saturday
for the western half of Arkansas. Portions of North Texas also were under a
tornado watch and a flash flood warning was issued in the Dallas area Saturday
Forecasters warned of heavy rain, lightning, pingpong ball-sized hail and
flooding as a line of storms moves west to east through afternoon, covering an
area from south of Killeen, Texas, to north of the Oklahoma state line.
In Oklahoma City, thunderstorms prevented workers from securing and removing
glass from Devon Tower, which was damaged Wednesday when a scaffolding holding
two window washers banged against the building, The Oklahoman reported.
Officials said the rain and winds blew broken glass from the tower and
compromised the integrity of other panes.