Storms move east, causing damage in Missouri and Illinois
A mother and child were killed in the Oklahoma storms, an official says
At least 71 others were injured in Oklahoma
Oklahoma City covered in flood waters
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The death and damage wrought by new tornadoes that plowed through Oklahoma won’t be completely known until the sun comes up Saturday morning.
A handful of fresh storms killed at least five people Friday, authorities said, less than two weeks after a monstrous cyclone waylaid the town of Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City. At least 71 others were injured statewide.
Two of the victims in Oklahoma died within twenty miles of Moore, said medical examiner spokeswoman Amy Elliot.
Though the tornadoes were not as strong as the EF-5 twister that killed 24 on May 20, fear drove some people into their cars to flee them, some of whom got caught in heavy rains and flash flooding.
A mother and her child were killed, when an apparent tornado sucked them out of their vehicle.
Though the state’s transportation authorities strongly advised citizens not to drive, some interstate highways in Oklahoma were jammed with stalled traffic, as heavy rains drenched roadways and flooded low-lying areas. Officials described parts of Interstates 35 and 40 near Oklahoma City as “a parking lot.”
The first floor of the capital’s city hall was covered in an inch of flood water, after heavy rains poured down across Oklahoma City, said city spokeswoman Kristy Yager.
“We’ve seen widespread flooding throughout the entire 621 square miles,” she said.
Flooding stranded five city buses, but no passengers were on board, she said, and numerous accidents were reported. Some motorists were stranded after driving into flooded streets.
“We saw flooding in areas that we don’t see flooding. We were overwhelmed,” said police Lt. Jay Barnett.
Rising waters also hit apartments in low areas of town, Yager said. Oklahoman’s are growing weary of the dangerous storms.
“We really needed a break after last (week), and there’s just no rest,” she said.
More than 210,000 customers have lost electricity in the areas affected by the storm, according to a CNN tally.
The severe weather has knocked out power to nearly 120,000 customers in Oklahoma, according to electricity provider OG&E.
Missouri governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency, as the storm front moved into his state. Heavy rains in the past days have left the area vulnerable to flooding, he said. An apparent tornado damaged homes near St. Louis.
The storm system has shifted to the East towards Illinois and Indiana, triggering tornado warnings and watches in its path.
A roof flew off a school gymnasium in Macoupin County, Illinois, according to an emergency management spokesman. “About 25 to 30 homes were damaged,” said Jim Pitchford.
Sirens howled over the ruins of Moore, Oklahoma, Friday pushing storm-weary residents who stayed behind to rescue their homes from the previous weather disaster to take cover.
Mayor Glenn Lewis sat in a storm shelter, as he spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“This is unbelievable that it could possibly even hit again,” he said. “We just started picking up (debris) two days ago.”
He fears the new storms scattered it all around again.
CNN’s Holly Yan, Jake Carpenter, Carma Hassan, Joe Sutton, Jennifer Feldman, Chandler Friedman and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.