Tornadoes take sixth life in Oklahoma

Phillip Castor cleans up insulation at his brother-in-law's home following a tornado in Woodward, Okla., Sunday, April 15, 2012.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

(CBS News) WOODWARD, Okla. - The death toll is now six from a giant tornado outbreak in the middle of the country.

The powerful storm front that spawned the twisters in the Midwest Sunday was moving toward the Great Lakes Monday morning.

More than 120 tornadoes were reported in five states over the weekend. It was such a dangerous system that forecasters put out their first warnings more than 24 hours in advance.

One of the tornadoes killed six people, including three children, in the small town of Woodward, Okla., on Sunday. That's where some of the worst damage was done.

Authorities say it's amazing there weren't more scenes just like the one in Woodward across the Great Plains.

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    The storm system's footprint ran from Texas to Minnesota, fueling funnel clouds by the dozens and sending people scurrying for protection while their neighborhoods were ripped to shreds.

    Those who died in Woodward included a father and his two daughters, ages 5 and 7. Twenty-eight others were injured. Thirteen businesses and 89 homes were destroyed.

    Kyle Reynolds lived in one of them. In his home's master bedroom, one section of wall was left lying on the bed, and he said, "Most of the kitchen is in the dining room now."

    He was at the high school overseeing prom night when the storm hit. His 19-year-old daughter, Jessica, was back from college though, and rode it out in the basement safe room of their home.

    "I couldn't believe how much damage (was done) in just ... five seconds," she said.

    The siren in Woodward was disabled by the storm, and some people weren't awakened in time to take cover.

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 12 counties Sunday.

    One woman, choking up, told Fallin she was "kind of nervous because my kid was at an after-prom party."

    "Everything is OK?" Fallin asked.

    The woman nodded her head, saying "yes."

    In Iowa, a twister basically wiped the small town of Thurman off the map.

    In Kansas, where the most tornadoes touched down, Gov. Sam Brownback surveyed the damage.

    "We had 40 percent of the state of Kansas that's in a warning at some point in time," he said. " ... I'm just -- I'm amazed at what didn't happen, really, with that size a system."

    The storm lit up the night sky in Wichita and damaged a military base, a defense contractor's office and a neighborhood.

    "I felt everything, like the roof, lift, and even I lifted a little bit with it," one person said.

    To see the Dean Reynolds report, click on the video in the player above.

    • Dean Reynolds
      Dean Reynolds

      Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.