2nd person killed by Oklahoma tornado
More severe weather expected today
Last Updated: 200 days ago
SHAWNEE, Okla. - Oklahoma's state medical examiner's office says a second person was killed by a tornado that leveled a central Oklahoma mobile home park.
Office spokeswoman Amy Elliot on Monday identified the two people who are confirmed to have been killed during Sunday's storms as 79-year-old Glen Irish and 76-year-old Billy Hutchinson. Both men were from Shawnee.
One of several tornadoes that touched down in parts of the nation's midsection on Sunday leveled the Steelman Estates Mobile Home Park near Shawnee.
It wasn't immediately clear if both victims lived at the mobile home park.
Several tornadoes struck parts of the nation's midsection Sunday, concentrating damage in central Oklahoma and Wichita, Kan. One person was killed near Shawnee, Okla., and 21 injuries were reported throughout the state.
The National Weather Service was forecasting more of the same for the area -- including Oklahoma City and Tulsa -- Monday afternoon and evening, warning of the possibility of tornadoes and baseball-sized hail.
The worst of the damage Sunday appeared to be at the Steelman Estates Mobile Home Park near Shawnee, which is nestled among gently rolling hills about 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.
"It took a dead hit," resident James Hoke said. Emerging from a storm cellar where he sought refuge with his wife and two children, Hoke found that their mobile home had vanished. "Everything is gone."
Hoke said he started trying to help neighbors and found his wife's father covered in rubble.
"My father-in-law was buried under the house. We had to pull Sheetrock off of him," Hoke said.
Forecasters had been warning of bad weather since Wednesday and on Sunday said conditions had ripened for powerful tornadoes. Wall-to-wall broadcasts of storm information spread the word Sunday, leaving Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth grateful.
"There was a possibility a lot more people could have been injured," Booth said. "This is the worst I've seen in Pottawatomie County in my 25 years of law enforcement."
Tornadoes were reported Sunday in Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma as part of a storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota.
Emergency officials traversed the neighborhoods struck in Oklahoma in an effort to account for everyone. Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said that, many times in such situations, people who are not found immediately are discovered later to have left the area ahead of the storm.
A storm spotter told the National Weather Service that the tornado left the earth "scoured" at the mobile home park. At the nearby intersection of Interstate 40 and U.S. 177, a half-dozen tractor-trailers were blown over, closing both highways for a time.
"It seemed like it went on forever. It was a big rumbling for a long time," said Shawn Savory, standing outside his damaged remodeling business in Shawnee. "It was close enough that you could feel like you could reach out and touch it."
Gov. Mary Fallin declared an emergency for 16 Oklahoma counties because of the severe storms and flooding. The declaration lets local governments acquire goods quickly to respond to their residents' needs and puts the state in line for federal help if it becomes necessary.
In Wichita, Kan., a tornado touched down near Mid-Continent Airport on the city's southwest side shortly before 4 p.m., knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses but bypassing the most populated areas of Kansas' biggest city. The Wichita tornado was an EF1 -- the strength of tornado on the enhanced Fujita scale - with winds of 110 mph, according to the weather service.
Golf ball-sized hail slammed homes in the area. Jim Raulston, of Wichita, said the ferocious winds slammed the hailstones into his home.
"It was just unbelievable how the hail and everything was just coming straight sideways," Raulston said.
Sedgwick County Emergency Management Director Randy Duncan said there were no reports of fatalities or injuries in Kansas.
The weather service reported two tornadoes touched down in Iowa -- near Huxley and Earlham. Damage included the loss of some cattle when the storm blew over a barn on a farm in Mitchell County. Some 11,000 homes were without power early Monday.
In Oklahoma, aerial television news footage showed homes with significant damage northeast of Oklahoma City. Some outbuildings appeared to have been leveled, and some homes' roofs or walls had been knocked down.
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