OKLAHOMA CITY — The medical examiner’s office has confirmed 15 storm-related deaths from Friday’s deadly tornadoes and flooding. 13 people died from being hit by the tornadoes directly, or from drowning while seeking shelter from the impending storm in storm drains.
In addition, the flood waters left behind by the storm claimed the lives of two more people. An Oklahoma County man’s car was swept away Saturday morning and in Okfuskee County, a grandmother was unable to escape from her car, after she drove through rising waters.
Officials say they are only just beginning to assess the damages. It is expected to be in the millions of dollars.
Over a hundred thousand people lost power due to tornadoes and flooding. The latest number of outages is over 24,400. The numbers are fluctuating and are expected to change.
OG&E says their employees, plus over 400 contractors and workers from neighboring utilities, are working to get power restored.
The search for several people who were swept away in Friday night’s flood waters will resume this morning. Five bodies have been recovered and six others remain missing.
Oklahoma City fire crews spent all day yesterday scouring two Oklahoma Rivers for bodies of people swept away in the flood waters.
In both cases the people were taking shelter from the tornado in storm drains. Dozens of family and friends assisted fire crews in the search along I-44 in the Deep Fork River.
They were searching for seven family members who had taken shelter in a storm drain at N.W. 26th and Meridian. Among those were a husband and wife and their young son.
Samuel Cifuentes, his wife Florinda Santos, and their son Alex had all been recovered by Sunday night. Florinda’s cousin and her three children were with them as well. Authorities are still searching for her and one of her children.
In a separate, but similar incident, fire crews were searching the Oklahoma River for the bodies of four people who had also sought shelter in a nearby storm drain. A group of ten people were trapped in the flood waters.
Six managed to escape but a man and three children under the age of four were swept away. None of their bodies had been recovered as of last night.
Deputy Chief Marc Woodard of the OKC Fire Department says, “I think everyone was just scared wanting to get underground and get safe but didn’t think about the rain or the drainage that would come through there.”
Officials say the Oklahoma River was too dangerous to send divers in, but today they will probably be able to send one in to search for a man and three children.
Family members say they’ll be back here this morning; still searching for the bodies of a woman and 8-year-old girl.
Here are photos sent in from viewers and visitors of the storms from last Friday night:
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