Medical examiner confirms two children and seven adults die in Friday evening tornadoes

M.E.: Nine die in Oklahoma tornadoes
Staff Reports Modified: June 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm •  Published: June 1, 2013

3:40 p.m.

A 65-year-old man died Saturday when his car drove off a washed out bridge at E Hefner and N Dobbs Road in eastern Oklahoma County.

The Oklahoma County sheriff's office identified the victim as James Talbert and said his body has been recovered.

Sheriff's deputies and Hickory Hills Fire Department rescue workers began searching for Talbert's body after his vehicle was found shortly before 7 a.m.

Roads remain hazardous in several metro locations because of high water and washed out bridges and roadways.

More than 80,000 OG&E customers remain without power, including more than 78,000 in the Oklahoma City metro area.

The combination of flooding and tornado damage has made restoring power challenging.

2:40 p.m.

Those who were in a tornado's path along Route 66 in El Reno salvaged what they could Saturday from homes and businesses trashed by the storm.

Some of the worst damage was at Canadian Valley Technology Center, where the roof was torn from much of the building and an exterior wall was ripped away. Cars, lights and trees in the parking lot in front of the school were also destroyed.

A man who was taking a class with his son when the tornado hit recovered items from both of their pickups Saturday morning. The man, who did not want to give his name, said students and instructors went to a lower level in the building to ride out the tornado.

His son's pickup was overturned in the parking lot. His was badly damaged, with a broken windshield and large dents from debris that hit the vehicle. Gravel in the parking ripped paint and chrome from vehicles in a sandblasting effect.

In Oklahoma City, flooding continued to be a problem Saturday afternoon. Numerous roads remained close, and a road collapsed near SW 29 and Sara Road, city spokeswoman Kristy Yager said.

Flooding was especially bad downtown, where virtually any building with a basement had flood damage. About half of city government's phone lines were down Saturday because the basement of the city's information and technology building at 100 N Walker was completely flooded.

Workers pumped nine feet of water out of the building by noon but still had six feet more to go. The municipal court building, City Hall, police headquarters, Cox Convention Center and Chesapeake Energy Arena also had flood damage, Yager said.

2 p.m.

A man's body was found about 1 p.m. in a creek just east of Dobbs Road in Harrah, said Mark Myers, a spokesman with the Oklahoma County Sherriff's office.

Myers said the man left for work early Saturday and his vehicle was found empty near East Hefner Road and Dobbs Road just after 6 a.m.

“His vehicle was found washed off the road,” Myers said. “He was either washed off the road or tried to get out of his car. I don't think people realized how deep and strong the water was.”

1 p.m.

Firefighters are searching the Oklahoma River for several people that were believed swept into the waterway during torrential rains Friday evening.

A family was seeking shelter in a drainage ditch in the 3300 block of SW 17 when floodwaters carried them into the river, Oklahoma City police Lt. Jay Barnett said Saturday. The body of a 4-year-old family member has been recovered and others are being sought.

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