Residents of El Reno and Yukon, Oklahoma, experienced three terrifying tornadoes early Friday evening that trapped thousands on major interstate highways. Around 6 p.m. CST, several major storm cells developed over the greater Oklahoma City producing three tornadoes so close together eye witnesses report there was no time to rescue victims as the storms moved through the areas.
It is now around 8 p.m. CST and CNN reports the storm cells are weakening but only to reveal mass amounts of damage. Local hospitals are prepared for the worst as first responders attempt to reach those trapped on the local highways. A local DPS officer spoke to CNN and expressed shock at not only the power and duration of the tornadoes but the sheer panic of residents. The DPS officer described the Oklahoma City interstate highways as “parking lots” in which individuals in cars were “sitting ducks.” Anderson Cooper reports that it’s estimated over 5,000 people were unable to escape the tornadoes.
CNN meteorologist commented that the horrific situation was rare as the storms — which produced the violent tornadoes — were literally produced on top of each other and “came right over the top” of residents.
There are early reports of damage and assumed fatalities with DPS reporting several flipped semi-trucks, tractor trailers, and cars.
El Reno and Yukon, Oklahoma, residents are urged to remain indoors as flash flooding is now widespread, with 6 to 8 inches of rain in just a few hours with no signs of slowing.
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Kat Robinson is a regular contributor for SheKnows and loves to connect women to all the latest news. She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and is a 2010 Jack Kent Cooke Scholar. Follow her on Twitter @katrobinson1