At least five killed after tornadoes strike central US states

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Severe storms wreaked havoc across several states, leaving thousands without power and causing widespread damage. The storms, which struck from Texas to Missouri, brought strong winds, heavy rain, and multiple tornadoes. Oklahoma and Iowa were particularly hard hit, with fatalities reported in both states. In Oklahoma, where a state of emergency was declared in twelve counties, four people lost their lives. Another person died in Iowa following a separate storm system. The National Weather Service confirmed that some of the tornadoes had wind gusts exceeding 136 miles per hour.

The town of Sulphur, Oklahoma, suffered significant damage, with homes flattened and vehicles overturned. Videos of the aftermath showed the extent of the destruction. Other towns, such as Holdenville and Marietta, also experienced severe damage. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported around 100 injuries in the affected areas. State officials, including the speaker of the state House of Representatives and Governor Kevin Stitt, expressed determination to support recovery efforts and rebuild the affected communities.

President Joe Biden offered the federal government’s full support to Oklahoma, pledging assistance in the recovery process. Governor Stitt, who described the damage in Sulphur as the worst he had seen during his tenure, emphasized the need for unity and resilience in the face of adversity. Meanwhile, a separate weather system unleashed over 70 tornadoes in Nebraska and Iowa, causing widespread destruction around Omaha. Residents recounted harrowing experiences of seeking shelter as tornadoes tore through their neighborhoods.

Nebraska’s governor issued emergency declarations for three counties, enabling additional resources for rescue and recovery operations. Despite the immediate response efforts, the threat of severe weather persisted, with forecasts predicting continued risk of damaging winds and hail across several states. Meteorologists warned residents in affected areas to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety. The aftermath of these storms underscores the importance of preparedness and community support in mitigating the impact of natural disasters.

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