Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Two Oklahoma men killed in tornadoes; Kansas, Iowa batten down for severe weather

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 20th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Two Oklahoma men have been killed in tornadoes that have wracked several Midwest states. At least 29 others have been injured on account of the severe storm battering the state, along with people in Kansas and Iowa. Extreme conditions are expected to linger across the Midwest.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The two Oklahoma men confirmed to have been killed as 79-year-old Glen Irish and 76-year-old Billy Hutchinson, both from Shawnee.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said Irish was found dead out in the open at Steelman Estates. "You can see where there's absolutely nothing, then there are places where you have mobile home frames on top of each other, debris piled up," Booth said.

"It looks like there's been heavy equipment in there on a demolition tour ... It's pretty bad. It's pretty much wiped out."

Tornadoes, high winds and hail were part of a massive, northeastward-moving storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center was forecasting similar weather for today over much of the same area.

The National Weather Service has warned of the possibility of tornadoes and baseball-sized hail. Residents of Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri are also being warned of the possible bad weather.

At least four separate twisters touched down in central Oklahoma late Sunday afternoon, including one near the town of Shawnee, 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, which laid waste to much of a mobile home park.

Governor Mary Fallin declared an emergency for 16 Oklahoma counties because of the severe storms and flooding, allowing local governments to acquire goods quickly to respond to their residents' needs and puts the state in line for federal help if it becomes necessary.

The Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond was pummeled with hail as large as a grapefruit and damaging roofs and structures before heading east. Aerial flyovers in Wellston, northeast of Oklahoma City, showed significant property damage.

"I knew it was coming," one Edmond resident saying, adding that he peered out his window as the weather worsened and believed he saw a flock of birds heading down the street. "Then I realized it was swirling debris. That's when we shut the door of the safe room. I probably had them in there for 10 minutes."

Dozen of counties in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri were placed under tornado watches and warnings that were in effect through late Sunday.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)