2 dead, 29 injured as devastating tornado touches down

KOCO
Severe damage was reported in El Reno Okla. after a tornado hit a hotel and mobile home park on Saturday

KOCO Severe damage was reported in El Reno Okla. after a tornado hit a hotel and mobile home park on Saturday

A deadly tornado swept through the small Oklahoma town of El Reno late Saturday, destroying buildings and claiming lives, according to multiple news reports.

It hit the American Budget Value Inn before ripping through the Skyview Estates trailer park, flipping and levelling homes, according to mayor Matt White. "You will not have much time to get to shelter", the weather service said.

The 29 people who were injured were taken to hospitals, where some were undergoing surgery, the mayor said.

A reporter from KWTV is the one who said a hotel had been "leveled", according to this report.

Tweety Garrison, 63, told the Associated Press that she was in her mobile home with her husband, two young grandchildren and a family friend when the storm hit.

Mrs Garrison said when she heard the storm coming she immediately hit the ground.

"A$3 s the clock ticked toward midnight, a twister with EF-3 winds in excess of 135 miles per hour cut a path through Jefferson City, the state's capital, heaving bricks and turning homes into dollhouses ripped open to the sky", the Kansas City star reported, on the severe weather that ripped through Friday.

The storm struck the city of El Reno, 25 miles west of Oklahoma City, where a Sunday-morning search for dozens of unaccounted-for individuals was underway.

Video showed the devastation. According to White, everyone at the motel has been accounted for. Damage was also reported in other area communities.

On Saturday, officials told some Tulsa residents they should consider leaving their homes.

Several vehicles were overturned and others were smashed by debris.

Trailers at a mobile home park adjacent to the motel were also damaged, as was part of a nearby auto dealership.

Union City Police Chief Richard Stephens wrote, "Very unsafe situation tonight in El Reno".

White asked people to stay away from the area until search-and-rescue teams finish combing through the rubble.

"We have absolutely experienced a traumatic event", White said during an earlier news conference Sunday.

Police in the neighboring town of Union City put out an all points bulletin - for prayer.

"Please pray for those effected by these storms as well as the emergency services workers assisting in this ongoing rescue".

Kevin Stitt has toured the area where two people were killed by a tornado over the weekend, saying it was "just unbelievable that anybody could survive".

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