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Tornadoes strike Texas, Oklahoma; more storms in forecast

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Posted at 3:17 PM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 16:17:14-04

SEMINOLE, Okla. (AP) — A storm system spawned several tornadoes that whipped through areas of Texas and Oklahoma, causing damage to a school, a marijuana farm and other structures.

There were no reports of serious injuries following the Wednesday night tornadoes, but the system was causing flooding in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas, and more stormy weather was expected Thursday.

Significant damage was reported in the Oklahoma city of Seminole, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southeast of Oklahoma City, where Gov. Kevin Stitt said damage assessments were underway after he toured the area Thursday.

“(We’re) getting all the resources and supplies that the city wants and needs,” including generators, Stitt said. “Thank the Lord that nobody was hurt” and no deaths have been reported.

Nearly 4,500 customers were without power early Thursday afternoon, according to Oklahoma Gas & Electric, 96% of the utility customers in the city.

Video footage from Oklahoma TV station KOCO showed a tornado hit a marijuana farm in the nearby town of Maud.

Several roads and highways were closed Thursday morning in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas because of flash flooding.

In Texas, a “large and dangerous tornado” was spotted Wednesday in the rural community of Lockett, about 170 miles (275 kilometers) northwest of Dallas, said the National Weather Service office in Norman, Oklahoma.

There were no significant injuries or deaths to residents in Wilbarger County, Sheriff Brian Fritze told KAUZ-TV. He said several homes and barns appeared to sustain extensive damage.

The Wednesday storms were the latest in several rounds of severe weather in the central United States. Last week, a tornado damaged more than 1,000 buildings in the Wichita suburb of Andover, Kansas. Three University of Oklahoma meteorology students died in a car crash while returning from storm chasing.

More stormy weather was expected Thursday from Texas into parts of the South. The storms could bring more tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds, and the threat of severe weather will continue Friday in parts of the South and over the weekend in the central Plains and Midwest, the weather service said.