Authorities reported that two people were killed in Oklahoma following a possible tornado on Wednesday night.
Residents of Cole in the county, about 25 miles south-east of Oklahoma City were told Wednesday night to seek shelter immediately. At 7:39 pm, the county’s emergency services agency announced that a dangerous twister was threatening to hit the town.
McClain Sheriff’s deputy Scott Gibbons had told reporters that there were more deaths or injuries than we knew about earlier.
Helicopter footage from NBC affiliate KFOR in Oklahoma City shows destroyed homes around Cole, a town of about 620.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Foster informed reporters that Cole suffered significant damage, and that trees and electricity lines were down.
The rural nature of the area and the damage caused by the storms means that searchers will need to take their time in order to inspect damaged homes and storm shelters.
Foster explained that it would take time to search for the missing items. “We have to park and walk many miles to reach a number of these locations, so we will need to spend a long time searching,” Foster said. “We know there are injuries.” “We do know there are significant damages to property.”
The University of Oklahoma in Norman, located east of Cole, warned everyone to take shelter immediately and stay away from the windows as dangerous storms approached. Later, the threat of tornadoes passed.
The weather service in Pottawatomie warned that a storm containing a tornado was approaching Shawnee. This city has a population of about 30,000. It was not immediately known if there were injuries.
It was also not immediately apparent what the extent of damage would be. KFOR broadcasted images of downed powerlines and damaged business signage in the city.
Pottawatomie County Emergency Management posted on Facebook that “too many” roads and streets are blocked by power lines or debris. Pottawatomie County Emergency Management posted on Facebook that “too many” roads and streets were blocked by power lines or debris.
Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, said that classes would be canceled on Thursday and Friday. Students were also told to remain in their homes Wednesday night due to debris and downed electrical lines.
“No injury has been reported, but campus damage is significant,” said the university in a post on Facebook.
A cold front had caused the weather service to forecast severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in some parts of Great Plains on Wednesday.