Severe storms struck the central United States once again, causing life-threatening impacts such as severe tornadoes and flash flooding across the region through Monday night.
The National Weather Service also confirmed that there were at least two "large and extremely dangerous" tornadoes in on Monday, May 20, with one being spotted in Greer County, Oklahoma, and the other one in Dickens County, Texas.
CNN reported that each of the advisories reportedly carried the following instructions: "An extremely dangerous and potentially deadly tornado is on the ground. To protect your life, TAKE COVER NOW!"
Both the issued reports warned of "considerable" damage to homes, businesses and vehicles, aside from adding that "complete destruction is possible". More tornadoes were also confirmed in central Oklahoma and western Texas areas which brought the total number up to nine.
More than 2 million people were in the way of danger with the NWS Storm Prediction Center issuing a threat level 5 out of 5 for violent tornadoes on Monday. In Texas alone, a tornado warning will remain in effect on Monday night for certain counties that include east-central Dickens, western King, southwestern Glasscock and southeastern Midland.
Earlier on Monday, the Storm Prediction Center issued a shocking and rare "particularly dangerous situation" tornado watch for most of western and central Oklahoma, including the entire metro area of Oklahoma. The storm was expected to move later Monday into western Arkansas.
As predicted, some tornadoes were reported early Monday evening, although they were in sparsely populated areas. Oklahoma residents were on alert as Monday is the sixth anniversary of a massive tornado in Moore, south of Oklahoma City, that killed 24 people.
A tornado struck western and northern portions of the southwestern Oklahoma town of Mangum on Monday afternoon. Glynadee Edwards, the Greer County emergency management director, says some homes incurred roof damage and the high school's agriculture barn was destroyed, but the livestock survived.
Emergency officials also reported a tornado near Lucien, in northern Oklahoma, severely damaging a house and destroying a barn. One storm cell near Crescent, 32 miles north of Oklahoma City, spawned twin tornadoes. Storms on Monday produced golf ball-sized hail and strong wind gusts across the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma.
Earlier Monday, school districts in Oklahoma City, nearby Norman and elsewhere in Oklahoma canceled classes with forecasts of hail and wind gusts of up to 80 mph (128 kph). A flood watch was in effect for the greater Oklahoma City region. Schools in Abilene and elsewhere in West Texas sent students home early.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement that the state emergency operations center was activated and urged motorists not to drive around barricades or into flooded roadways.
In Oklahoma City, emergency management officials opened the Multi-Agency Coordination Center, an underground bunker on the city's northeast side that serves as a clearinghouse for coordinating information about severe weather events and other major emergencies.
Some flights at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City were canceled to avoid damage to aircraft and the possibility of extended delays elsewhere.
Monday's severe weather warning comes on the heels of particularly bad weather that struck the region late last week through the weekend. At least 50 tornado reports came in across the central and southern Plains.
With AP inputs.
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