Powerful tornadoes strike in four central US states

By REUTERS
May 20, 2013 06:41

 
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A massive storm front swept north through the central United States on Sunday, hammering the region with fist-sized hail, blinding rain and tornadoes, including a half-mile wide twister that struck near Oklahoma City. News reports said at least one person had died.

By 9:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, more than two dozen tornadoes had been spotted in parts of Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Illinois, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and local news reports. Hail stones, some as large as baseballs, were reported from Georgia to Minnesota, the NOAA said.

Fox News reported that one person was killed in Shawnee, Oklahoma, east of Oklahoma City.

Police in Shawnee could not immediately be reached to confirm the report.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared 16 counties of the state disaster areas, according to Jerry Lojka, a spokesman for the state emergency management department.

By late Sunday, power outages were being reported in several Oklahoma counties, according to the Tulsa World newspaper.

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