Severe storms with tornadoes and heavy rains took aim Monday at the Southern Plains, mainly parts of Oklahoma and Texas, where five and half million people were likely to be affected. The latest threat follows a weekend of storms that spawned numerous tornadoes from Texas to Nebraska.
Late Monday afternoon, CBS affiliate KWTV reported that a tornado touched down in Crescent, Oklahoma, north of Oklahoma City. Earlier, the station spotted a tornado in nearby Kingfisher County.
The National Weather Service had said Oklahoma City was at “high risk” of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, and school districts in the Oklahoma City area canceled classes for more than 150,000 children Monday as a precaution. CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reports school was also canceled in Moore, Oklahoma, where a deadly tornado in 2013 killed 24 people, including seven children at an elementary school.
According to CBS News weather producer David Parkinson, the severe weather index in Oklahoma City was 5/5 — the first 5/5 index anywhere in the U.S. in just over two years, and the first in Oklahoma City in eight years. The Oklahoma City metro area was facing six to 10 inches of rain and there was a high risk of a tornado outbreak, with a powerful EF-4 or EF-5 tornado considered likely. A flood watch was in effect for the greater Oklahoma City region, while strong winds and hail were forecast for West Texas.