Severe storms, flooding blamed for 2 deaths in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Authorities say a man and woman were killed in separate incidents when severe storms swept across Oklahoma, and officials warned Wednesday more severe storms are on the way.
A 55-year-old man’s body was found Wednesday inside his vehicle in Tulsa after it was submerged in floodwaters Tuesday night. He has not been identified.
The vehicle was reported missing about 8 p.m., when water in the area was up to 20 feet deep. A passerby spotted the vehicle Wednesday.
Officials in Bryan County say a 58-year-old woman died when her home was destroyed by high winds near Bokchito, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) southeast of Oklahoma City. A tornado was reported there about 9 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities have not released her name.
The National Weather Service says at least 16 tornadoes were reported Tuesday in Oklahoma. Storms also spawned tornadoes in Texas and Arkansas.
Hospitals in southeast Oklahoma reported at least 22 people were injured as a result of Tuesday night’s storms, according to the State Department of Health.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency on Wednesday for 52 Oklahoma counties as a result of the storms, and state officials activated its emergency operations center to coordinate with first responders.
There is an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms through Thursday across south-central Oklahoma and parts of northern Texas, with heavy rain likely to cause flooding and a chance for large hail, damaging winds up to 70 mph and a few tornadoes, the National Weather Service reported.