SEVERE storm warnings have been issued as Oklahoma and Texas brace for tornadoes, flash floods, and potential power outages, as some residents in hard-hit areas were evacuated, reports say.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued a level 4 out of 5 “moderate” risk for severe storms in parts of Oklahoma on Sunday, a warning that applies to more than 2million people across the state.
The storms could be capable of producing hail, damaging winds, and even tornadoes[/caption]
Residents were warned to prepare for heavy winds[/caption]
The storms could be capable of producing large hail, damaging winds, and even tornadoes on Sunday afternoon and overnight.
The storms are linked to a developing low-pressure system and a front that extends from the Midwest through the Southern Plains.
Around 11.30pm on Sunday, electricity company Oncor was reporting nearly 56,000 customers without power in the area of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Less severe storm alerts were issued on Sunday for several other states as well.
A level 3 “enhanced” risk includes the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area and Fort Smith, Arkansas.
A level 2 “slight” risk covers Spingfield, Missouri, Waco, Texas, and Wichita Falls, Texas.
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The threat of tornadoes will be highest on Sunday across certain areas of Oklahoma and north Texas.
According to KOCO, a tornado was confirmed around 9pm in Johnson, a town located near Shawnee in Pottawatomie County.
Meteorologists also warned that heavy traffic in the north Texas area could make for dangerous road conditions.
“Interstate 35 from Dallas to Oklahoma City will be especially busy Sunday due to the ‘Red River Rivalry game’ between Texas and Oklahoma that took place on Saturday,” CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.
“This means a lot of fans could be driving back home this afternoon and evening — peak timing for the storms.”
Local media outlets tweeted that there was a “strong” smell of natural gas after the twister hit the area near Coweta High School, which had AC units blown off its roof, according to one local reporter.
The Coweta Public Schools board has said there will be no virtual or in-person teaching for any CPS students as officials are surveying storm damage to their sites.
Stadiums and sports fields were damaged by tornado debris and a disaster relief command center has been set up.
Coweta police chief Mike Bell said cops believe one person was injured during the tornado.
By Monday, the storm is expected to shift to the Midwest, where cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, and Saint Louis could fall into the risk area.
According to CNN, another storm threat will make its way towards Texas and Oklahoma on Tuesday.
That severe storm risk could include more than 15million people from southwestern Minnesota to western Texas.
A severe weather warning was issued for parts of Oklahoma and Texas[/caption]
The storm is expected to move towards the Midwest Monday[/caption]
Texas and Oklahoma may face another severe storm threat on Tuesday[/caption]