Powerful tornadoes strike in four central U.S. states

A massive storm front swept north through the central United States yesterday, hammering the region with fist-sized hail, blinding rain and tornadoes, including a half-mile wide twister that struck near Oklahoma City. At least one person died.

By 9:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, more than two dozen tornadoes had been spotted in parts of Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Illinois, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and local news reports. Hail stones, some as large as baseballs, were reported from Georgia to Minnesota, the NOAA said.

Fox News reported that one person was killed in Shawnee, Okla., east of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared 16 counties of the state disaster areas, according to Jerry Lojka, a spokesman for the state emergency management department.

By late Sunday, power outages were being reported in several Oklahoma counties, according to the Tulsa World newspaper.

Meteorologists had been warning for days that a powerful front was expected to blast through the region, spawning potentially destructive twisters. The extreme weather is expected to continue on Monday, National Weather Service advisories said.

National Weather Service offices across the region issued one urgent warning after another, throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

An extreme weather system stretching from north Texas to Minnesota had been building for hours on Sunday when the day’s first tornado touched down near Wichita, Kansas at 3:45 pm Central Standard time, according to a weather service alert.

Just after 6 p.m., the Norman, Oklahoma office posted a Twitter alert on a tornado about to strike Pink, a town on the edge of Oklahoma City.

“Large tornado west of Pink!” the post read. “Take cover RIGHT NOW in Pink! DO NOT WAIT!”

The storm prompted an unusually blunt warning from the central region of the National Weather Service, which covers 14 states.

“You could be killed if not underground or in a tornado shelter,” it said. “Complete destruction of neighborhoods, businesses and vehicles will occur. Flying debris will be deadly to people and animals.”

Pat Slattery, National Weather Service spokesman for the U.S. Central region, said the advisory was part of a new warning system being tested after a violent tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011, killing 158 people and injuring hundreds.

Slattery said the new advisory was reserved for severe tornadoes with the potential to form into “supercell” storms, which produce powerful winds and flash flooding. Supercells are considered to be the most dangerous of four categories of storms because of the extreme weather they generate.

A recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration assessment of the Joplin storm found that “when people heard the first tornado warning, they did not immediately seek shelter. They looked for a secondary source to confirm the tornado,” Slattery said. “That got some people killed.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Putin fields question from U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during…

Local

Teen in 'Jihad Jane' terror case to be…

A judge on Thursday is set to sentence a high school student who pleaded guilty to helping al Qaeda and working with the woman known as "Jihad Jane."

National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

Local

Supporters say man accused of robbery was misidentified

A Liberian immigrant couple charged with extorting money from an elderly woman in March will be in court Thursday for a bail hearing, but supporters say it's a case of…

The Word

'Mrs. Doubtfire' sequel in the works

Finally, Hollywood is making your dreams come true - they're making that "Mrs. Doubtfire" sequel you've been clamoring for all these years.

The Word

Lawsuit accuses 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer of raping…

A new lawsuit accuses director Bryan Singer of sexual assault against a minor.

Movies

The Cannes Film Festival announces its 2014 lineup

The lineup of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival was announced this morning, promising the latest from a slew of usual (and some unusual) suspects.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.