At least one person has died and several people are missing after more than a dozen tornadoes hit Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas on Friday night, damaging homes and knocking out power to thousands as authorities launch search and rescue efforts.
The person who died was in McCurtain County in southeastern Oklahoma, which suffered significant storm damage after a possible tornado impacted the town of Idabel, county emergency manager Cody McDaniel said. There are “multiple missing persons,” he said.
On Friday night, authorities were trying to determine the extent of the damage and injuries, McDaniel said, adding, “Not good.”
In Texas, near the state line with Oklahoma, at least 50 homes were damaged or destroyed in Lamar County as of Friday night, the sheriff’s office said.
Tornado warnings were in effect in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri on Friday night, meaning tornadoes were reported to be on the ground or indicated by weather radar. The weather service advises residents in warning areas to move to a safe place like a basement or interior room.
A preliminary count taken Friday night from the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center shows nine tornadoes formed in Texas, four in Arkansas and one in Oklahoma.