‘Large and dangerous’ tornadoes hit Texas and Oklahoma; South faces more severe weather

play
Show Caption

  • Tornadoes were reported in Texas and Oklahoma on Wednesday night, including one in Seminole that directly hit a school.
  • Eastern Texas, southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana faced a risk of severe weather Thursday.
  • The threat of severe weather continues Friday in the South; in the Plains over the weekend.

OKLAHOMA CITY– Hours after damaging tornadoes swept through Texas and Oklahoma on Wednesday night, portions of the South braced for more severe weather on Thursday. 

Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported from Wednesday’s tornadoes, but severe thunderstorms brought flooding and “large and dangerous” tornadoes to both states, the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma, said.

More than 16,000 customers in Oklahoma and 30,000 in Texas were without electricity as of Thursday afternoon, according to the online tracker PowerOutages.Us.

In Seminole, Oklahoma, the second violent storm in a week tore through the town. Debris was seen scattered throughout the city and several downtown buildings had been “completely destroyed,” according to social media reports.

STORM CHASERS: Community remembers Oklahoma meteorology students killed in car crash

The Academy of Seminole confirmed the school building took a direct hit from the tornado. But everyone who was at the school was safe and accounted for, officials said.

“Please do not come to the school; it is extremely dangerous,” the school wrote in a Facebook post.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said damage assessments were underway after he toured the area Thursday. “(We’re) getting all the resources and supplies that the city wants and needs,” including generators, Stitt said. “Thank the Lord that nobody was hurt,” he said, and no deaths have been reported.

A storm Monday had also caused damage to buildings and downed trees in Seminole.

Tornadoes were also reported in the towns of Tecumseh, Earlsboro and Cromwell.

As the storm moved through the area, the Weather Service said it was “rain wrapped,” meaning it would be hard to see an ongoing tornado.

WHAT IS A TORNADO? Everything you need to know about these violent storms

Video shows massive tornado near Lockett, Texas

In Texas, the Weather Service said a tornado was also spotted southeast of Lockett. Images shared on social media showed the massive twister and the damage it caused as it struck buildings.

There were no significant injuries or deaths but several homes and barns appeared to sustain extensive damage, Sheriff Brian Fritze of Wilbarger County told KAUZ-TV.

Potential for more severe weather in Oklahoma, Arkansas on Thursday 

Much of Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas were still under flash flood or flood watches and warnings on Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

The Weather Service office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said there was still potential for severe weather in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas on Thursday. A risk of flooding, “large hail and damaging winds” were the main concerns.

The Storm Prediction Center placed portions of eastern Texas, southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana under an “enhanced risk” for severe weather on Thursday. “Damaging winds should be the primary hazard, but isolated tornadoes and large hail will also be possible,” the center said.

A tornado watch was in effect for parts of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. This means weather conditions are ripe for tornadoes to form.  

The threat of severe weather will continue Friday in parts of the South and over the weekend in the central Plains and Midwest, the Weather Service said.

Contributing: Associated Press. Smith reported from Oklahoma City.