Oklahoma Tornado Warning: City Outage, Airport Evacuation, Interstate Shutdowns [VIDEO & REPORT]
The Oklahoma City tornado and severe weather has claimed the lives of two victims and injured 14 confirmed Brooke Coyote of Integris Canadian Valley Hospital in Yukon, Oklahoma. What's more, Oklahoma officials believe the final tally of the dead and injured are likely to be significantly higher.
Earlier today, the National Weather Service warned a "confirmed and extremely dangerous tornado" was near the city of Harvester, just 25 miles northwest from the city of St. Louis. According to St. Charles County Emergency Management coordinator Colene McEntee, the tornado was moving east at 50 mph.
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Missouri authorities advised residents in the tornado's path to seek shelter as soon as possible. At the peak of the storm, the National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency for a number of areas in and around Oklahoma's capital city. In fact, tornadoes formed in multiple locations including outside of Moore, near the suburb of Bethany, north of Union City and outside Tinker Air Force Base.
Weather conditions caused by the Oklahoma City tornado evolve so quickly that many travelers along parts of Interstates 35 and 40 opted to stop their vehicles as if the freeway were a parking lot.
"We've got a nightmare situation going on right now," said a state Highway Patrol spokeswoman Betsy Randolph. "They are essentially sitting ducks on the interstate."
Merciless winds overturned big rigs and cars across the roadway. Thousands more are stuck in the traffic.
"My biggest concern right now is the traffic that is out on the highway right now," Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said. Reaching out to the National Guard, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and the state Office of Emergency Management, efforts to get the traffic moving and bring people to shelter is the number one priority.
The weather service issued the tornado emergency for Oklahoma City as well as its suburbs of Moore, Yukon and Bethany.
Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport was evacuated amid threat of the approaching Oklahoma City tornado. Some travelers sought shelter in the airport's basement at the height of the storm, announced authorities.
"They are now in the process of slowly allowing people out of their shelter. They are bringing employees up now, and then the passengers will be able to come up once the terminal is properly staffed," said airport spokesperson Karen Carney.
"Right now, the airport has no power. Without power, they probably will not be able to allow passengers into the secure areas of the airport. But they obviously can't allow any takeoffs and landings without power, either."
The Oklahoma City tornado caused widespread destruction as at least 50,000 residents lost power early Friday evening when Oklahoma City's Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. was hit by the storm.
To learn more about the evolving Oklahoma City tornado conditions, be sure to follow the latest information via the live stream available below:
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