Death toll rises to nine from Oklahoma tornadoes

Cloud-to-ground lightning from a tornadic thunderstorm strikes in Perry May 31, 2013. Violent thunderstorms on Friday produced tornadoes in central Oklahoma that killed five people including a mother and her baby and menaced Oklahoma City and its hard-hit suburb of Moore Credit: Reuters
Cloud-to-ground lightning from a tornadic thunderstorm strikes in Perry May 31, 2013. Violent thunderstorms on Friday produced tornadoes in central Oklahoma that killed five people including a mother and her baby and menaced Oklahoma City and its hard-hit suburb of Moore
Credit: Reuters

Nine people were killed in tornadoes that swept through central Oklahoma on Friday, part of a storm system that caused widespread flooding in Oklahoma City and its suburbs, the state’s chief medical examiner said on Saturday.

The dead included two children and seven adults, said Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office. The death earlier had been reported as five.

The tornadoes struck just 11 days after a twister ranked as EF5, the most powerful ranking possible, tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore and killed 24 people.

The storms dumped up to 8 inches of rain on the Oklahoma City area, causing flash flooding that submerged parts of the sprawling metropolitan area that is home to more than 1.3 million people. Nearly two dozen people were rescued from areas cut off by rising water, the National Weather Service said.

Forecasters said the severe weather would shift on Saturday into Illinois, after it also hit neighboring Missouri, where Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on Friday.



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