Update 4/20, 10 a.m.
McClain County Emergency Management confirms a third death following Wednesday evening’s tornado.
Shawnee Police are asking people to stay off the streets. Emergency crews are having a hard time getting to places where they are urgently needed because of unnecessary traffic.
KFOR coverage will resume at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday.
UPDATE: 11:39 P.M.
McClain County Deputies have confirmed a second fatality in Cole, Oklahoma.
Bethel, Dibble. Earlsboro and Shawnee Schools have all canceled classes for Thursday
UPDATE: 11:35 P.M.
According to students, Oklahoma Baptist University received extensive damage during the storm.
UPDATE: 11:30 P.M.
Officials say there is extensive damage to the Shawnee Mall.
UPDATE: 11:18 P.M.
According to the McClain Co. Sheriff’s Office, based on the damage Cole has seen, it is possible that there are more fatalities. They also predict the number of injuries may increase.
UPDATE: 11:05 PM
According to the McClain County Sheriff’s Office, there has been at least one confirmed fatality in Cole, Oklahoma.
UPDATE: 10:58 P.M.
The tornado warning for Prague has expired.
UPDATE: 10:57 P.M.
Bethel Schools will be closed tomorrow due to storm damage.
UPDATE: 10:37 P.M.
According to Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Foster and McClain Co. Deputies, there are hundreds of first responders searching residences in Cole, Oklahoma.
Officials say there are injuries but how many people affected is still unknown. The damage in the areas hit by tornadoes is extensive and first responders are continuing to search.
The Red Cross reunification and sheltering area will be at Washington Highschool at 202 East Kerby Street in Cole. Officials say to contact 405-955-4600 with any non-emergencies.
74B from State Highway 74 to State Highway 76 as well as May 280th to 260th are closed.
McClain Co. Sheriffs say to avoid the area.
UPDATE: 10:27 P.M.
As of now, there are reports damage in Cole, Shawnee, Etowah and Chickasha. There are also reports that Bethel public schools and Oklahoma Baptist University have received damage.
UPDATE: 10:13 P.M.
According to officials, the tornado warning for Pottawatomie has been extended and now includes Lincoln County has been extended to 10:45 p.m.
UPDATE: 9:57 P.M.
Officials say I-40 eastbound is shut down going into Shawnee.
UPDATE: 9:52 P.M.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency management and Homeland Security, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activated at 10 a.m. this morning to monitor wildland fire and severe weather threats. Following is information related to the tornado that struck the town of Cole this evening:
- We do not have a number of homes or businesses damaged, but we do know that significant damage occurred.
- Oklahoma Task Force 1 (OK-TF1) was requested and was deployed to assist with any search and rescue needs for Cole.
- The staging area was originally established at 260th & Meridian in Blanchard. We have reports that the Command Post will be at HWY 24 and HWY 74 on the north side of Washington.
- Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry is coordinating with Oklahoma Large Animal First Responders in case assistance with livestock was needed. ODEMHS does not have reports of impacted livestock.
- 20,081 customers are without power statewide according to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
- ODEMHS has not received any further requests for any of the other storms in the area.
UPDATE: 9:44 P.M.
4Warn’s Mike Morgan advises Shawnee residents to get to a safe place immediately and stay there. A strong tornado is moving into the area.
UPDATE: 9:22 P.M.
According to the McClain County Sheriff, residents have reported being trapped in their shelters underground. Due to the high winds, mailboxes have been blown away and emergency crews are having to use GPS to find addresses.
KFOR’s Natalie Clydesdale reports of two people in Cole who rode out the storm in a manhole. Neither one received injuries.
UPDATE: 9:03 P.M.
KFOR crews are in Cole, Oklahoma, reviewing the damage at Scissortail Silos Event Center. The complex is destroyed. There are also numerous homes that have received damage.
UPDATE: 8:27 P.M.
Damage has been reported in Cole, Oklahoma, where multiple structures have been destroyed.
Update: 8:08 p.m.
Chopper Pilot Mason Dunn reports he believes there have been two tornadoes.
Update 8:06 p.m.
A large tornado was captured by KFOR’s 4WarnMe Storm Chasers and McIntyre Law Chopper 4.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR)— A Tornado Watch is in effect for much of central Oklahoma until 11:00 p.m.
Large hail could be part of the severe weather making its way across the state.
Quarter to golf ball size hail is possible.
There are some power outages being reported.
Check back often for updates.