Tornados Reported In Texas And Oklahoma

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) -- An apparent tornado with winds of up to 70 mph moved through West Texas early Thursday, tearing shingles from roofs, shattering glass and flipping vehicles.

Paramedics were dispatched throughout the city, but San Angelo police didn't have a number of injured.

The storm pelted the city with quarter-sized hail just after midnight with winds of up to 70 mph, said Hector Guerrero, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Angelo.

The National Weather Service received reports of cars and a tractor trailer flipped over. At least one building downtown was damaged and power lines were down in some areas, Guerrero said.

Shortly after, the storm system moved out of the area, Guerrero said. San Angelo is about 110 miles southeast of Midland.

Hours earlier, two apparent tornados also moved through another section of West Texas, and there were also reports of a tornado in Oklahoma, where one woman died when her car skidded off the road in heavy rain.

In Breckenridge, 125 miles west of Dallas, at least five homes were destroyed and minor injuries were reported, police said.

Robbie Dewberry, an administrator at Stephens Memorial Hospital, said the hospital treated three people for storm-related injuries. He said the hospital was operating on emergency backup power.

Crews with Oncor Electric Delivery were surveying the extent of the damage in Breckenridge, where about 3,500 customers were without power, Oncor spokesman Neal Blanton said.

KTVT-TV of Dallas-Fort Worth showed footage of damage at the small airport in the town. A twin-engine plane sat amid the crumpled sheet metal that had been a hangar.

Several outbuildings were also damaged, but officials could not immediately confirm that the damage was caused by a tornado, said Jessica Schultz, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Another possible tornado hit Palo Pinto County between Graford and Oran, meteorologist Jennifer Dunn said. Officials said roofs had been blown off a few homes and trees were down in Oran, about 80 miles west of Dallas.

In Oklahoma, meteorologist Andrew Taylor said there were two reports of a tornado in Choctaw County in the southeastern part of the state, although no damage was reported. Taylor said the reports could have been about the same tornado.

Flooding caused the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to close five highways in the state, and the National Weather Service issued flood warnings for several eastern Oklahoma waterways.

Heavy rain and flash flooding were also reported in Arkansas. Entergy Arkansas said it opened spillway gates at the Remmel Dam in Hot Spring County to release excess water from Lake Catherine, about 50 miles southwest of Little Rock.

In Polk County, along the Oklahoma state line, U.S. 71 was covered with as much as a foot of water, while state Route 375 had 6 inches of water on it, the weather service said. Sheriff's officials said workers at the hospital in Mena were putting sandbags in place to keep water out of the emergency room.

Meanwhile, a small tornado caused scattered damage in southwest Michigan, authorities said.

No injuries were reported, but authorities said several horses were trapped inside a barn damaged by the stormy weather early Wednesday.


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