Deadly tornado shreds part of mobile home park in small Oklahoma town

Deadly tornado tears through Oklahoma town

A weekend tornado devastated El Reno, Oklahoma, tearing through a mobile home park and killing at least two people. The National Weather Service says it was an EF3 tornado packing winds up to 165 miles per hour. Weather officials say it lasted about four minutes and traveled a little over two miles, but that's all it took to level part of the small community.

Sidonna Jeans was inside a trailer with her nephew when the tornado blew her home off its foundation and sent her neighbor's home tumbling.

"I felt like I was falling or trying to fall off the bed or bouncing," she said. "I looked out, straight out the window, which was busted, and saw my neighbor's trailer rolling over."

That home was packed with at least a dozen people – including children – but everyone inside survived. Two people from the trailer park died. 

Amazingly, no one died at the nearby American Budget Value Inn, even though a large section of the two-story motel was demolished. At least 29 people were injured – some seriously.

El Reno Mayor Matt White says the city will recover from Mother Nature's one-two punch. Just a week ago, floodwaters damaged part of the town. Now, a tornado. At a press conference, White called it an "all hands on deck" situation and at one point got choked up.

"It's a trying time, excuse me, and we're gonna get through it," he said.

Oklahoma has been beaten down by back-to-back severe storm systems that brought heavy rains, flooding and tornadoes to the region. On Sunday, more than 100 miles away from El Reno near Tulsa, the town of Sapulpa was hit by a twister that tore up homes, businesses and power lines.

"It is pretty emotional because a lot of things could've happened that didn't. I am just thankful to the Lord this morning for being here," one resident said.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt is set to visit El Reno on Monday.  The local VFW is serving as a shelter and the Red Cross is helping people recover. The state is already under an emergency declaration, and more severe weather is expected later this week.

It's not just Oklahoma that's in the cross-hairs. Millions of Americans in the central U.S. are watching for a new round of extreme weather that could bring tornadoes and flash flooding. In just the last 24 hours, 27 tornadoes have been reported and rivers in at least three states are at record levels.

At least 15 deaths have been blamed on the weather since last week.