Tornadoes hit Oklahoma, Arkansas; 1 dead, several injured
Updated: 2015-03-27 10:35
A handout picture released with permission via an Instagram user shows the funnel cloud of a tornado reaching down to the ground as a storm approaches Sand Springs, Oklahoma, US, March 25, 2015. [Photo/IC]
TULSA, Oklahoma - The first batch of severe weather in the US tornado season devastated an Oklahoma mobile home park, as storms across the area damaged buildings, tore off roofs and left debris strewn across roads. One person was killed and several were injured.
Tens of thousands of Oklahoma residents were without power early Thursday as officials assessed the damage.
Tulsa County Sheriff's Capt. Billy McKelvey said one person was killed in the mobile home park, which he said could accommodate 40 to 50 trailers.
Joe Sellers, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said survey teams would assess the damage Thursday but that it was likely a tornado that hit Sand Springs.
Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 25 Oklahoma counties that were hit hardest by the storm.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said it had reports of nine people taken to hospitals. McKelvey said he believed at least 15 were hurt.
Tornadoes were seen elsewhere in Oklahoma, as well as neighboring Arkansas.
The tornado season usually ramps up for parts of the US in March, but until Tuesday _ when a waterspout formed over an Arkansas lake _ the US hadn't had a tornado in more than a month.
Weather patterns this month funneled cold air into much of the country, depriving the atmosphere of the warm, moist air necessary for forming bad storms for most of the month.