Death toll rises to nine after Oklahoma tornadoes and thunderstorms

Saturday 01 June 2013 21.32
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Up to 50 people were treated for storm-related injuries
Up to 50 people were treated for storm-related injuries
Flash floods left much of Oklahoma City under water
Flash floods left much of Oklahoma City under water
A meteorologist for the National Weather Service said it was difficult to know exactly how many tornadoes had touched down
A meteorologist for the National Weather Service said it was difficult to know exactly how many tornadoes had touched down
24 people were killed in tornadoes in Oklahoma last week
24 people were killed in tornadoes in Oklahoma last week

At least nine people have been killed after violent thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest overnight.

Among the nine dead in Oklahoma were a mother and a baby found in a vehicle.

A spokeswoman for the state medical examiner said that the death toll was up to seven adults and two children.

At least 75 people were hurt, five critically, hospital officials said.

The storm toppled cars and left commuters trapped on an interstate highway as it bore down during Friday's evening rush hour near Oklahoma City.

The National Weather Service reported "several" tornadoes rolled in from the prairie, terrifying towns along their paths.

The storms brought another tense day for a region still reeling from the recent monstrous twister known as an EF5.

EF5 is ranked at the top of the scale used to measure tornado strength, that struck the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on 20 May.

The tornado EF5 killed 24 and decimated neighbourhoods.

Storm chasers with cameras in their cars transmitted video showing a number of funnels dropping from the supercell thunderstorm.

They followed it as it passed south of El Reno and into Oklahoma City just south of downtown.

As the cell advanced, police urged motorists to leave I-40 and seek a safe place.

Violent weather also moved through the St Louis area.

Early aerial images of the storm's damage showed homes with porches ripped away, roofs torn off and piles of splintered wood scattered across the ground for blocks.

Officials in St. Charles County also reported that local schools suffered some damage.

Meteorologists had warned about particularly nasty weather yesterday.

They said that the storm's fury didn't match that of the tornado that struck Moore.

The Friday storm, however, brought with it much more severe flooding.

The storm dumped around 8 inches (20cm) of rain on Oklahoma City in the span of a few hours and made the tornado difficult to spot for motorists trying to get home.

The heavy rain and hail hampered rescue efforts in Oklahoma City.

Keywords: oklahoma