The Midwest is once again a site of major destruction this week after five tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma Friday, just weeks after the state suffered a previously deadly storm.
CNN reported Monday morning that, according to officials, 16 were killed in Oklahoma in connection with the storm. Five children are among the dead, according to a report from Tulsa World. Six people, four who took shelter in storm drains, are still reported missing, officials stating they’re expecting the death toll to rise in the coming days.
Tornadoes also touched down in Missouri Friday, but it was storm-related flooding that claimed the lives of three in Missouri who drowned, according to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. A wildlife officer, a sheriff’s deputy and two women were killed by flooding in Arkansas during a rescue mission.
An estimated 1,500 residents in Oklahoma reportedly took shelter in a tunnel after a roof of Oklahoma’s City’s Will Rogers World Airport was torn off in the storm. Friday’s twisters are not being reported as powerful as last month’s F5 that injured 240 and left 24 dead.
“It’s a sobering thing to think about life and to see all your memories just tossed about,” Kris Merritt, an Oklahoma resident, said. “Everything from your childhood on up,” he said.
Among the deceased include stars of the Discovery Channel’s series “Storm Chasers” Tim Samaras, 55; Carl Young, 45; and Paul Samaras, 24. According to a Weather Channel report, the three weather researchers were killed by a multi-vortex tornado after it unexpectedly changed course in El Reno, Okla.
The National Weather Service, or NOAA, released a slight warning for more than 7.3 million residents in areas of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas to prepare for potentially damaging wind gusts and golf ball-size hail Monday into Tuesday afternoon.