At least 3 possible tornadoes near Okla. City
The Storm Prediction Center forecasts severe tornado activity in the Midwest for Saturday, April 14, 2012. (National Weather Service)
OKLAHOMA CITY – Tornado sirens sounded across Oklahoma City early Saturday as the nation’s midsection braced for what forecasters cautioned could be a day of “life-threatening” storms, with the most dangerous weather expected to develop in the afternoon.
At least three possible tornadoes were reported west and north of the city, though no injuries were immediately reported, said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management official Michelann Ooten. The National Weather Service, which is working to confirm the tornadoes, said the storms damaged some homes.
The most dangerous weather, however, is expected to develop later in the day. Officials are warning that a large area spanning from Minnesota to Texas could be at risk.
“This could go into certainly to overnight situations, which is always of immense concerns to us,” Ooten said.
A tornado watch was issued this morning for portions of central Kansas and Northwest Oklahoma, effective until 6:00 p.m. CT., in what the weather service called “a particularly dangerous situation.
The worst conditions were projected for late Saturday afternoon between Oklahoma City and Salina, Kan., but other areas also could see severe storms with baseball-sized hail and winds of up to 70 mph, forecasters said. The warning issued Friday covers parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
One of the suspected tornadoes early Saturday hit near the small town of Piedmont, taking a similar path as a tornado last May that killed several people, Mayor Valerie Thomerson said.
“Because of last year, we’ve had a lot of new people put storm centers into place,” the mayor said, adding that no major damage had been reported. “We’re all very anxious about this afternoon.”
Downed power lines litter 24th Avenue Southwest at the Lindsey Street intersection after a tornado hit Friday afternoon April 13, 2013 in Norman, Okla.