Spring storms, tornadoes romp across Great Plains; 1 dead

May 19, 2013 at 11:59 PM
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OMAHA, May 19 (UPI) -- Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency Sunday as at least 19 tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and Iowa.

At least one person was killed in Pottawatomie County, Okla., CNN quoted Sheriff Mike Booth as saying.

Overnight storms in the Great Plains brought strong winds, hail and tornadoes. Winds gusted above 70 mph in some areas and tree limbs a large as 6 inches in diameter crashed to the ground in Topeka, Kan., late Saturday and early Sunday, AccuWeather.com reported.

Hail the size of golf balls pelted Elgin, Okla., and a police officer was injured by flying debris in Garfield, Okla.

At least 19 tornadoes touched down across Oklahoma and Kansas Saturday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. A home in Rozel, Kan., was damaged, but no serious injuries were reported.

Parts of Interstate 40 near Shawnee, Okla., were closed because of tornado damage, CNN said.

AccuWeather.com said local flooding was also possible in some areas.

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