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Flash floods and rescues follow tornadoes and rain in Southern Plains

Life-threatening flooding in Oklahoma

Oklahoma City -- An intense storm system moved across the Southern Plains on Monday, spawning tornadoes that caused scattered damage and a deluge of rain but not the "particularly dangerous" twisters that forecasters had feared. No deaths or injuries were reported.

The biggest impact Monday night and overnight was flash flooding in Oklahoma from torrential rains that accompanied the storms, forecasters said.

Tornadoes shred homes and destroy businesses in Oklahoma, Louisiana

Numerous water rescues were needed in parts of the state, Tulsa among them, reports the CBS affiliate there, KOTV.

In Hominy, Oklahoma, CBS News lead national correspondent David Begnaud reports some 100 people were evacuated and, in many cases, rescued. Fire officials there described the situation as "scary," saying they were getting one rescue call after another.

And the National Weather Service in Tulsa says Mother Nature isn't finished:

KOTV noted tornadoes were still a possibility:

The Storm Prediction Center website shows the main severe thunderstorm threat Tuesday will be over Missouri and northern Arkansas, with a slight threat in a surrounding area bounded by Dallas; Springfield, Illinois; Garden City, Kansas and Oklahoma City.

KOTV says a nighttime tornado moved through parts of northeastern Oklahoma. It wasn't how much damage it caused.

Flooding shut down parts of I-40 near El Reno, Oklahoma early on May 21, 2019 KWTV

As predicted, more than a dozen sightings of tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Missouri early Monday evening, although they were in sparsely populated areas. Oklahoma residents were particularly nervous Monday because it was the sixth anniversary of a massive tornado in Moore, south of Oklahoma City, that killed 24 people.

A tornado struck western and northern portions of the southwestern Oklahoma town of Mangum on Monday afternoon. Glynadee Edwards, the Greer County emergency management director, says some homes incurred roof damage and the high school's agriculture barn was destroyed, but the livestock survived.

"The pigs are walking around wondering what happened to their house," she said.

Emergency officials reported a tornado near Lucien, in northern Oklahoma, severely damaging a house and destroying a barn. One storm cell near Crescent, 32 miles north of Oklahoma City, spawned twin tornadoes.

National Weather Service meteorologist John Pike in Norman, Oklahoma, said a developing layer of relatively warm air aloft late Monday afternoon and evening over central Oklahoma was capping development of the kind of supercells that spawned tornadoes earlier in the afternoon in western and northern Oklahoma. Storm cells that did develop, however, followed one after the other in what is called "training," leading to scattered reports of flash flooding Monday night.

The threat of nasty weather had prompted measures to prepare for the worst. School districts in Oklahoma City, nearby Norman and elsewhere in Oklahoma canceled classes with forecasts of hail and wind gusts of up to 80 mph (128 kph). A flood watch was in effect for the greater Oklahoma City region. Schools in Abilene and elsewhere in West Texas sent students home early.

Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City moved several planes to other military installations in anticipation of storm damage. Meanwhile, state workers in several Oklahoma counties were sent home early.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement that the state emergency operations center was activated and urged motorists not to drive around barricades or into flooded roadways.

In Oklahoma City, emergency management officials opened the Multi-Agency Coordination Center, an underground bunker on the city's northeast side that serves as a clearinghouse for coordinating information about severe weather events and other major emergencies.

Some flights at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City were canceled to avoid damage to aircraft and the possibility of extended delays elsewhere.

The Monday storms followed a spate of tornadoes in the Southern Plains on Friday and Saturday that left leaving widespread damage and some people injured.

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