Oklahoma flooding leaves people trapped by rising waters

Dangerous Oklahoma flooding prompts rescues

El Reno, Okla. — Dangerous storms that triggered flash floods and more than two dozen reports of tornadoes are moving east through Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. St. Louis is bracing for winds nearing 60 miles per hour, hail and possible tornadoes.  

Rescue teams were busy Tuesday in Oklahoma and Missouri, where floodwaters trapped people in their cars and homes. More than six inches of rain fell in El Reno, just outside Oklahoma City. By midday, the city's small fire department had launched on a half-dozen rescues.

Dozens of homes were flooded out. From the air, a collection of abandoned cars could be seen, submerged by rising waters.

Severe Weather
Water flows around an abandoned vehicle near US Highway 66 following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in El Reno, Okla. Sue Ogrocki / AP

"Trees all came down around me. I couldn't go anywhere, I couldn't see anything," one resident said.

Back in Mangum, Oklahoma, Brenda Rogers rode out the storm in a laundry room. "You can see it coming a little closer and finally my husband said we're gonna have to go somewhere," she said.

Crews are now working around the clock to clean up the aftermath before the next storm moves through the waterlogged landscape.

  • Mireya Villarreal

    Mireya Villarreal is a CBS News correspondent.