The numbers have risen to 104 people injured by yesterdays 5 tornado strikes in Oklahoma city, including one “multiple-vortex tornado”, claiming at least 5 people. The storm covered approximately one and a half miles
During Friday’s outbreak of storms, many people were caught in their vehicles near the touch down spots, including all 5 reported dead. Interstate 40 was hit hard, ripping up power-lines and flipping cars. One woman and her baby, traveling in an SUV, were thrown by the storm and did not make it. Three others unfortunates were also found, in their cars, ad mist the storm rubble. Flash-flooding submerged cars and blocked roadways. The storm over-turned semi-trucks and stripped buildings.
What exactly is a ‘multiple-vortex’ tornado? Well, it’s just how it sounds. The main tornado becomes so violent that it creates several other ‘sub-tornadoes’ – between two and seven, generally. These smaller tornadoes spin around the edge of the central twister at speeds ranging up to 100 times faster than the original one. These are considered some of the most violent and destructive storms on the charts. The tornado that took Joplin, MO. to the ground in 2011 was caused by a multiple-vortex tornado.
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth confirmed 5 tornadoes in the Oklahoma city area on Friday and one early this morning in Tulsa. Hospitals in the Oklahoma city have reported 104 injured from the multiple-vortex tornadoes, including the 5 claimed by the disaster, as well as 5 people in serious condition. Only 11 days have passed since the last tornado hit the area and claimed 24 people. A local, Marcus Jolly, age 32, told the Oklahoma newspaper that Interstate 40 area looked like “a war zone.”
The tornadoes hitting Oklahoma yesterday were accompanied by baseball-sized hail and enormous winds strong enough to throw cars around like leaves on a fall afternoon. The area received between 6-8 inches of rain between 7 pm Friday evening and 7 am this morning, still threatening flash floods today.
There were several reported ‘close calls’ by those who were ‘chased’ by the storm. One 4Warn Storm Team meteorologist from NBC, Emily Sutton told NBC: “All of a sudden, we felt the wind behind us picking up, picking up.” Visual images, such as “chunks of trees” she reported “falling right before our eyes“. Enough to give anyone a shake. Sutton added “I felt stuff hitting my back and I knew that’s not right … all I did was just say ‘Oh my God,’ and then we just kept our composure because you’ve got to keep moving on.“
Over 94,000 people were without power Friday in the area. Power companies also reported outages in Missouri (87,000) and Illinois (30,000).
It’s a big hit for the welcoming of June in the Midwest this weekend. Let us keep our thoughts on those of Oklahoma city, shaken by 5 tornadoes, including a multiple-vortex tornado claiming at least 5 people and injuring many more. May the families and neighborhoods affected by this natural disaster be blessed with peace and a quick restoration of their lives in working order. And may those who lost family members be remembered and taken into the arms of the community for healing and renewal.
Written by Stasia Bliss