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Central US April Tornado Outbreak

April 14, 2012 by staff 

Central US April Tornado Outbreak, At least three possible tornadoes are being reported in central Oklahoma hours ahead of what forecasters are cautioning could be a day of “life-threatening” storms. No injuries were immediately reported after the suspected tornadoes hit early Saturday morning.

Department of Emergency Management official Michelann Ooten says the possible tornadoes were reported west and north of Oklahoma City. One was spotted near Piedmont, a small town where a twister last May killed several people.

The National Weather Service is working to confirm the reports. Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Brown says the storms were fairly weak but still damaged some homes.

While officials warned a large area spanning from Minnesota to Texas could be at risk during the weekend, emergency workers focused their attention overnight on central Oklahoma, where they said funnel clouds had been spotted though none had been reported touching down. The area includes the small town of Piedmont, where a twister last May killed several people, including two young boys, authorities said.

“They’re probably feeling like they’re going through that all over again,” Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain said Saturday.

The worst conditions were projected for late Saturday afternoon between Oklahoma City and Salina, Kansas, but other areas also could see severe storms with large chunks of hail and winds of up to 112 kph, forecasters said. The warning issued Friday covers parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

On Friday, Norman, Oklahoma, home to the University of Oklahoma campus, got a preview of the potential destruction when a twister whizzed by the nation’s tornado forecasting headquarters but caused little damage. Norman Regional Hospital and an affiliate treated 19 people for mainly “bumps and bruises,” and one patient remained hospitalized in fair condition late Friday, hospital spokeswoman Kelly Wells said.

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