As they dug out from deadly twisters that ravaged the Oklahoma City metropolitan area – with the suburb of Moore being hardest hit – people there suffered through yet another powerful storm Friday.
The National Weather Service reported numerous tornadoes around the area. The agency also noted there was a “confirmed and extremely dangerous tornado” around St. Louis, Missouri.
– Parts of Interstate 70 in St. Louis County, Missouri, is closed due to overturned vehicles that include tractor trailer trucks, said Brett Lord-Castillo with the county’s emergency management office. Authorities have not found any casualties on the highway, he said.
– Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights, Missouri, was evacuated Friday after a storm storm caused damage to its roof but no casualties, according to Brett Lord-Castillo of the St. Louis County emergency management office. There are multiple reports of gas leaks in the county, he said Friday night.
– Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport remained without power late Friday night, forcing the airport to cancel all flights, said airport spokeswoman Karen Carney. While the airport did not take a direct hit, there is debris on the airfield, she said. “Until we decide the airfield is cleared, we are not allowing flights,” she said, adding it will take a while to assess the damage. Southwest, Frontier and American airlines have canceled flights. At the height of the storm, travelers were sheltered in the airport’s basement.
Previously reported developments:
– The tornado emergency issued by the National Weather Service on Friday night included Oklahoma City and Moore, the community devastated by a deadly tornado earlier this month. A tornado emergency means that a large, destructive tornado is moving into a densely populated area and widespread damage and fatalities are likely.
– The National Weather Service also declared a tornado emergency for parts of the western Oklahoma City metropolitan area that includes the suburbs of Yukon and Bethany.
– All tornado warnings and tornado emergencies for the Oklahoma City area had expired as of 9 p.m. (10 p.m. ET), according to the National Weather Service. Flash-flood warnings remained in effect for much of the area.
– The two people reported dead at Integris Canadian Valley Hospital in Yukon are a mother and a child, Integris Health’s Brooke Cayot said. She said that hospital received 14 patients, three of them critical.
– More than 170,000 customers are without power Friday night throughout the Midwest – including in Oklahoma and Missouri – after severe weather rocked the region.
– Those in Norman – home to the University of Oklahoma – should “expect 80-90 mph winds and embedded tornadoes,” the National Weather Service warned. “Take your tornado precautions RIGHT NOW!!”
– Those in the National Weather Center – a building on the University of Oklahoma campus with tenants that include the National Severe Storms Laboratory and NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center – “have been urged to stay away from windows due to potential for 80-90 mph winds,” according to a tweet from staff at the National Weather Service’s Norman office, which also is based in the building.
– Some 50,000 customers in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area were without power at about 8 p.m. Friday (9 p.m. ET), Oklahoma Gas and Electric reported.
– There were reports at 7:48 p.m. (8:48 p.m. ET) of a tornado near Tuttle – which is about 25 miles southwest of Oklahoma City – the National Weather Service said. The twister was moving east-southeast at 25 mph.
– A “confirmed tornado” has been spotted four miles northwest of Moore, the National Weather Service said. This tornado is moving east-southeast at 30 mph.
– Sometime later, Mayor Glenn Lewis said Moore was experiencing major flooding due to torrential rains.
– A tornado reportedly touched down seven miles south of Calumet, Oklahoma, near El Reno, on Friday, the National Weather Service said.
– There is a “developing tornado” south of Del City, Oklahoma, that is moving toward Tinker Air Force Base, the National Weather Service said Friday night. The base is about nine miles east of Oklahoma City.
– An 87-mph wind gust was recorded at the air force base, the National Weather Service tweeted.
– The National Weather Service tweeted Friday night that severe weather “will threaten” the Women’s College World Series – the NCAA’s softball championship – and an Oklahoma City Redhawks minor league baseball game “in the next hour.”
– The National Weather Service said Friday night that there is a “serious flash-flooding threat” in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. “Do not drive into areas where water covers the road!!” the service tweeted.
– The National Weather Service described parts of Interstate 35 as “a parking lot” and said that those in traffic “are in danger.” “Please try to get to a building or safe shelter!” the service tweeted as severe weather moved through the Oklahoma City area.
– Multiple tractor-trailers have overturned on Interstate 40 in Canadian County – which is west of Oklahoma City and includes the city of El Reno – due to severe weather, said Keri Mankey of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
– “We are desperately asking people to abandon Interstate 40” and head east or south because of severe weather there, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph said. She said there are reports of injuries, and authorities are trying to get people to local hospitals. “We’re in a desperate situation,” Randolph said. “It’s dire right now.”
– Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said authorities are “trying to do everything we can to get the traffic moving” on interstates crammed with vehicles in the severe weather. “We’ve got to get people off the highways,” Fallin said. Warning signs were put out around 4 p.m., advising people about the threat of tornadoes.
– Interstate 35 from Purcell north toward Oklahoma City was shut to traffic later Friday night due to severe weather, said Randolph. “We have got just a nightmare situation right now,” Randolph said of the scene on I-35 and Interstate 40.
– Part of Interstate 40 was shut down because of, among other problems, high floodwaters, Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokeswoman Betsy Randolph said Friday night. Downed power lines also crossed that and other major roads.
– A new tornado has been reported just east of Will Rogers World Airport, the National Weather Service tweeted on Friday night.
– A National Weather Service sensor at the Oklahoma City airport recorded a 71 mph wind gust. The airport has been evacuated because of the threat of tornadoes.
– Sometime after 9 p.m., the airport still had no power, airport spokeswoman Karen Carney said. Workers were then in the process of allowing people out from where they had taken shelter due to a tornado threat. Carney said she did not know whether anything – including planes and terminals – had been damaged.
– National Weather Service forecasters and storm spotters in Oklahoma were “tracking a large and extremely dangerous tornado six miles southwest of El Reno,” moving southeast at about 20 mph, according to an advisory.
– El Reno Mayor Matt White said police and firefighters are checking for damage from a reported tornado, but it’s not clear how bad things are because the city’s cell phone towers are knocked out. Half the city of Mustang is without power, but there were no immediate reports of damage there, said Roy Widmann of that city’s fire department. El Reno is about 30 miles west of Oklahoma City; Mustang is 17 miles southwest of that city.
– At about 8:15 p.m. (9:15 p.m. ET), the National Weather Service tweeted that the “tornado threat is decreasing” in and around Oklahoma City. “May see brief weak tornadoes along leading edge of storms pushing southeast.”
– Discussing how his city fared as severe weather rolled through Friday, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett told CNN, “We feel relatively fortunate.”
– The National Weather Service reported “a confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado … located near St. Charles” in Missouri at 8:06 p.m. (9:06 p.m. ET). St. Charles is about 25 miles northwest of St. Louis. This twister at one point was moving east at 50 mph.
– St. Louis, Missouri, as well as St. Louis County were hit hard by severe weather on Friday night. But there are no reports of “catastrophic damage” and “no major injuries,” said Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
– Severe weather prompted the closure of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis, Rainford said around 9:45 p.m. (10:45 p.m. ET). He added the storm caused minor damage to a terminal, caused roofs to collapse on three outbuildings and left debris around the airfield. There were no major injuries however, Rainford said.