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

“We may have had five or six people that were swept away,” Barnett said. “There could be more.”

High and fast waters were hampering search efforts.

“We are doing what we can. We did an extensive search last night to no avail,” Fire Maj. Tammy McKinney said. “As fast as that water is moving it's hard. The water is dictating what we do. Our reports were possibly one adult and three children were swept away by a wall of water while trying to seek shelter from the tornado.”

It's not clear whether the 4-year-old is among the nine people _ two children and seven adults _ whose tornado-related deaths have been confirmed by the state medical examiner's office. The medical examiner has identified four of those victims and is asking for the public's help in identifying the five others.

“If someone is missing a loved one from last night's tornado, we would encourage them to contact our office at 405-239-7141, said Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer for the office.

State health officials said 104 people were treated for injuries.

Meantime, nearly 92,000 homes and businesses remain without electrical service. Cox reported 46,000 customers without telephone service.

Will Rogers Airport has sustained some water damage as a corner of the roof in the ticket lobby area was damaged. Spokeswoman Karen Carney said a commercial aircraft got blown into a jet bridge. There are numerous flight cancellations as aircraft couldn't get in after the storm.

Marc Austin, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Norman, said the Oklahoma City area saw 5.64 inches of rainfall by midnight Friday, breaking the previous daily record for May 31. The previous record was 2.14 inches, set in 1892.

Rain continued to fall in the Oklahoma City area after midnight. The total rainfall from the storm was 6.76 inches, Austin said.

Austin said strong southerly winds brought moist air into the area. Storms developed west of the Oklahoma City area and moved due east, bringing several rounds of torrential rains into the metro area.

The Oklahoma City area can expect a break from the rain for the next few days, Austin said, with more rain becoming a possibility by midweek.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department used Humvees and small boats to evacuate about 100 homes in Crutcho due to high water. No deaths or injuries in the area were reported.

Oklahoma City spokeswoman Kristy Yager said several buildings in the city sustained flood damage, including the Municipal Court building, Cox Convention Center and City Hall. Three medical facilities remain on generator power: St Anthony South Healthplex, Community Hospital, and Oklahoma Heart South.

Oklahoma City University reported water damage on campus, but no structural damage to the university's buildings. An earlier report of a partial roof collapse was incorrect.

The Oklahoma City Zoo was late in opening Saturday after a red wolf was missing its containment area, which had a broken fence. It was found near the zoo's cafe.


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