|5 Dead in Okla.; New Tornado Watches|
|By LEEZEL TANGLAO (@leezeltanglao) and OLIVIA KATRANDJIAN||Apr 15, 2012, 8:48 AM|
Three children under the age of 10 are among the five found dead in an Oklahoma town after violent storms ripped through several states in the nation's mid-section.
Even as crews work to clean up the damage across the region today, residents braced for more violent weather that was in the forecast. Three new tornado warnings have been issued until 11 p.m. that include Minneapolis, Minn.; Little Rock, Ark.; and St. Louis, Mo.
The threat across the region today also includes possible hailstorms, forecasters said.
Frank Hobie and his two daughters, ages 5 and 7, died when a tornado hit their mobile home in Woodward, Okla., overnight, Oklahoma medical examiner spokeswoman Amy Elliot told The Associated Press.
A few miles away, Darren Juul and a 10-year-old girl died when a tornado hit the home they were in.
Along with the five fatalities, 29 people suffering from cuts and bruises to serious injuries were taken to Woodward Regional Hospital, according to officials.
Woodward City Manager Alan Riffel said the twister knocked out a transmitter that should have sent out warning sirens.
"Most people were in bed and without warning, it came through," Riffel said.
Officials are still searching for bodies.
"We've had a fatality number of five and we don't expect to find more, but we're not stopping the search now," Riffel said.
From Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, there were more than 120 reports of tornadoes since Saturday.
Residents were warned this weekend about the outbreak of violent weather, which forecasters predicted as potentially "life-threatening."
A double tornado -- two twisters from the same storm -- hit Cherokee, Okla., and continued to barrel through the Midwest for more than five hours, touching down dozens of times, and crossing a distance of 250 miles.
By late Saturday, Nebraska was hit with baseball-sized hail.
Erik Olson, who manages an orchard in Nebraska City, Neb. and said a storage facility was heavily damaged.
"Our neighbor called and said, part of your shop is on our house, and so I come from town to assess the damage, and there's really nothing you can do about it," said Olson.
A dozen homes, apartment buildings, and a library in Creston, Iowa were completely destroyed.
Clothing, bicycles, children's toys, and files from now emptied file cabinets were thrown everywhere.
At one apartment complex, half of the roof was completely torn off.
In Wichita, Kansas, homes were overturned, trees uprooted, and stoplights were thrown into the streets.
"Everything is just completely gone; it's just a big empty space like it was never there," said one Wichita resident who lost her home.
Another Wichita resident hid with his family in the closet.
"The wind just picked up and the rain got real heavy and the hail, so we ran to the closet and the next you knew the house was moving," he said.
ABC Radio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.