Tornado rips through small Oklahoma town

April 15, 2011 at 1:56 AM   |   Comments

OKLAHOMA CITY, April 15 (UPI) -- A tornado ripped through a small town in Oklahoma late Thursday, causing at least one death, authorities said.

The twister hit Tushka, a town of 350 in Atoka County, just as night was falling, witnesses told KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City. It was part of a major storm system reported by the National Weather Service in western and central Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle and parts of Kansas.

Justin Manion, who lives north of the town, said he and his family rushed into the cellar when they saw the funnel cloud. He said they emerged a short time later to a scene of devastation.

"The first thing we saw was the neighbor's house, and part of the roof is gone," Manion said. "The roofs of the sheds were gone, windows broken out of the house, hailstones about 3 inches in diameter lying all over the ground."

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported at least one death. Other officials said about 20 houses were damaged and one person was missing.

State Road 69 was a jumble of large trucks and trees after the storm, the state Transportation Department said. Employees at the Atoka hospital reported an influx of injured from Tushka.

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