Search continues for those missing in flood waters

Posted on: 6:58 am, June 3, 2013, by , updated on: 07:07am, June 3, 2013


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:

Photo Gallery Expand 1 of 100
  • Typical hail stones during the El Reno Tornado - May 31, 2013 C Parker

  • Tornado in El Reno -M Vidito

  • Unnamed

  • Unnamed

  • Unnamed

  • Unnamed

  • 2 East of Lookeba trying to avoid storms by going South. At this time the storms were "back building" according to the radio.

  • This was taken right before the storm hit the SW side of OKC, near 104th & Walker

  • Damage to power poles between Portland Ave and Meridian Ave on NW 10th

  • Damage to power poles between Portland Ave and Meridian Ave on NW 10th

  • Damage to power poles between Portland Ave and Meridian Ave on NW 10th

  • Damage to power poles between Portland Ave and Meridian Ave on NW 10th

  • Damage to power poles between Portland Ave and Meridian Ave on NW 10th

  • Photo taken from the top step of our storm shelter just south east of South Gregory Road and Reno Ave.

  • about 6:40pm on 5.31.2013 @ SW 22nd and Meridian.

  • Dorsey Martin dmartin29@cox.net 1 June Approx 20 ft of SE 15 collapsed between Choctaw Road and Indian Meridian.

  • right outside my shelter so close i could here it

  • may 31 tornado formation west of Pocasset 5 miles looking north Minco area

  • 1 mile south of El Reno looking west

  • 1 mile south of El Reno Looking west

  • 1 mile south of El Reno looking west

  • I couldn't capture the entire circle that was surrounding this storm with my available lens. -Susan George - Rosedale

  • There is two cars down the road one is news 4 Emily Sutton

  • After the first round of tornados hit OKC/Union City, the skies looked like this in Stillwater

  • Neighbors car flattened

  • Looking north from the west service rd of I-35 I got this picture of what they were describing on the radio when it was over I-35 and Indian Hills Rd.

  • Leaving the house to get out of the way was on the mind of many people.

  • Unnamed

  • Photo by Stacia Dunkin 5/31/2013

  • Photo by Stacia Dunkin 5/31/2013

  • Tree pulled out of the ground by the roots. Taken by Terrie Kriley

  • Taken after the storm went through. Beautiful!

  • Looking WNW on the west end of Stillwater before dusk on May 31st.

  • Unnamed

  • May 31, 2013 After storm passes in Cushing, OK. Photographer - Jessica Wingett Aka - Jade

  • This is facing ESE at 178th and May in Deer Creek/Edmond on May 31st, 2013

  • We left our house and drove away from the storm. I took this picture at a stop light on the way home. A majestic view after a very nasty day. This was taken at Penn and Memorial, OKC.

  • South Moore, May 31 at approximately 7.20pm Megan Jackson

  • 5/31/2013 Trucks started to pile up on I-40, heading eastbound toward the Metro Area. Big trucks becoming sitting ducks to be tipped over. by Gopi Namaste

  • Unnamed

  • Clouds over Moore May 31, 2013 around 6 p.m.

  • Sky and wall cloud south of Moore, OK, May 31st at approximately 7.20pm

  • This is right after the tornado warning was lifted and fans and staff were allowed to leave.

  • I noticed this heart cloud...thought it was interesting...I adjusted this one...I will send the original next

  • Taken at 6:25 pm from my house 1/4 mile south of Lake Thunderbird. Looking west. John Northcutt

  • Trees down, fence destroyed, lots of damage.

  • from the tracks on the ground it looks like it was flipped twice over a fence and in the neighbors yard

  • Photo taken looking west from our Rosedale property towards Purcell. Photo: Susan George

  • north OKC by highway 81 looking south

  • Taken at 6:25 pm, 1/4 mile south of Lake Thunderbird

  • Taken at 6:25 pm, 1/4 mile south of Lake Thunderbird

  • Dark and looming clouds before the tornado touched down in Norman

  • picture of the storm from sooner road about to cross I-240 pointed towards the crossroads mall are.

  • Lightning in the sky Friday night about 10 pm. Taken from NW OKC.

  • 5/31/13 NW 164th and Penn Andrea Williams

  • Hail on the ground, east side of house. Taken at 8:43 pm, 1/4 mile south of Lake Thunderbird.

  • Taken at 8:43 pm, 1/4 mile south of Lake Thunderbird.

  • Taken at 9:26 P.M. May 31 2013 facing south looking down Billen ST

  • this is the original pic of the heart cloud

  • Taken from Sooner road heading towards Moore. Camera pointed in direction of Moore

  • We kept trying to drive away from the storm heading south and it just kept shifting towards us. We tried heading towards the light and the car got engulfed in darkness. Not sure where this is. Somewhere past draper headed towards norman (i think)

  • Courtesy: Vella in Silver Lake

  • Courtesy: Kevin & DeLeah Poe in Stillwater

  • Courtesy: Eric Radford near Devon

  • Courtesy: Curtis Liles in Downtown OKC

  • Courtesy: Cornfedokie

  • Courtesy: Carly Murray on Reno

  • Courtesy: Brittany Callison in Paseo District

  • Courtesy: Andrew Cruz in Bethany

  • Courtesy: Agsokc near NW 50th & Western

  • OKC Mesta Park flooding - Victoria Stahl

  • Courtesy: Trina

  • Courtesy: Tracy at SW52 & Independence

  • Courtesy: Tameia Higgins

  • Courtesy: Sandy Price in North Norman

  • Courtesy: Ralph Davis near Ren & Rockwell

  • Courtesy: Justin Skalla

  • Courtesy: Erin near Union City

  • Courtesy: Bryan

  • Courtesy: Annejan64

  • Not my pic. It was just posted on Facebook.

  • Hail in El Reno 5/31/13

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