On Saturday morning, Oklahoma began to take stock of the wreckage caused by the massive tornado system that swept over Oklahoma City, St. Louis and outlying areas Friday night, killing nine, injuring at least nineteen, and causing massive flooding.
In total, seventeen tornados touched down in Oklahoma, forming from a system that stretch a half-mile wide. The twisters struck at dusk on Friday, making the damage difficult to assess overnight, and during rush hour, greatly impeding first responders’ ability to reach damaged areas. It was not until daylight this morning that the extent of the aftermath was visible.
Power and water systems remained offline Saturday morning.
Most of the deaths resulted from people being trapped in their cars, as both I-35 and Highway 40 were stuck in gridlock when the storm hit downtown Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma State Senator Ron Justice praised the coordination efforts in Canadian County, where the brunt of the storm was felt.
“I just want to say how much we appreciate the working of those within the communities,” Justice said at a press conference Saturday morning. “I’m just so amazed to watch the coordination fo the county officials, the first responders, all those that’s involved…I also want to commend you in the news media because of your coverage in helping them. That was instrumental as well, that more lives we’re not lost.”
Watch the whole press conference, along with footage of the aftermath, here:
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