At least five people have been killed in Oklahoma and a disaster emergency has been declared in Kansas after a severe storm system moving through the Midwest spawned a number of strong tornadoes. Oklahoma Dept. of Emergency Management information officer Keli Cain confirmed there were five deaths in the Woodward area of north-west Oklahoma.
At least 29 people were injured across Oklahoma and neighbouring states. Two of the dead are children, according to NBC News affiliate in Oklahoma, KFOR. In Kansas, governor Sam Brownback issued a declaration of disaster emergency to help speed relief to areas affected by the storms. “We are continuing to assess all the damages across the state,” said Brownback, “and signing this declaration clears the way for making state aid available to those counties that need help with clean-up and recovery.”
Dozens of tornadoes were reported Saturday as baseball-size hail shattered windows and tore the siding off homes in northeast Nebraska and one twister damaged a hospital in Creston, Iowa. Several homes were wrecked in Kansas. NBC News reported there were 112 recorded tornadoes in Kansas, Nebraska, Indiana and Oklahoma. Forecasters had warned of “life-threatening” storms in the nation’s midsection. No serious injuries from Saturday were immediately reported. A tornado was reported on the ground near Wichita, Kan., late Saturday and power in the city was going out, NBC station KSN reported. Homes were reported damaged on the city’s south side, but details were not immediately available.