Transcript for Deadly tornado hits Oklahoma
First though we do have breaking news we need to cover this morning. An apparent tornado sweeping through the city of el Reno, Oklahoma. The results both destructive and deadly. As we come on the air, at least two people are dead. You can see a local motel there heavily damaged and nearby a mobile home park mangled, and there is more dangerous weather on tap today and tomorrow for millions of Americans from heavy rain to flash flooding to more possible tornados. In fact, in the last week or so we've had 164 reported tornados in 11 states. So we begin our coverage this morning in Amarillo, Texas where rob is right there tracking it all. Rob, good morning. Good morning, Dan. Such a tough week here for folks in the central United States between the floods and the tornado damage. It's just been crippling, and just when we thought we could get through the weekend and get into an area where we see calmer weather, another town gets hit. Reporter: Overnight, a frantic search for survivors after a tornado barrelled through Oklahoma killing at least two people. This morning officials fear that number could rise. It's been a serious, serious event here. It's very tragic. We have all hands on deck. Reporter: That search focused on el Reno, reports of injuries there after the tornado destroyed this hotel. A mobile home park across the street also taking a direct hit. Just bodies everywhere, people everywhere, don't know dead or alive. Reporter: Debris sent flying as powerful winds and rain ripped through the area leaving over 50,000 people without power across the state. These buildings reduced to rubble. We're in the tornado right now. Reporter: This after a week of strong storms left homes along the Arkansas river almost completely submerged. Residents surveying the damage to their neighborhoods by boat. In Tulsa county the keystone dam releasing water at more than 1.8 million gallons per second. Putting immense pressure on the levies there. Just hoping that the levy don't go. If it does, we're up a creek. It's going to get all of us. Reporter: People urged to conserve water after a treatment plant was shut down. Rising flood waters reached the electrical panels. County leaders say they could run out of clean drinking water at any time. We think the water is still rising. There may be people that are fine today that may not be tomorrow. Reporter: With more than 164 reported tornados in 11 states since Monday, people across the heartland are holding their breath as the threat continues to loom from the plains to the mid-atlantic. Stay close to your family because you never know when something's going to happen. Reporter: First responders and officials still working the scene there in el Reno. This is the second time since 2013 that that town got hit. That time it was a larger tornado but it hit just south of town. This one a direct hit there and obviously doing major damage and unfortunately some fatalities. Unfortunately we're not quite out of this scenario. This setup has been with us all week long. We will in the next couple days. Right now today we're looking for more storms from Louisville to Cincinnati. Charleston, D.C. And philly, getting almost daily rounds of this stuff overtop of this ridge. Here in tornados alley, Amarillo where I stand, the threat for tornados looms later today. Tomorrow we get into parts of the northern plains, upper midwest. Des Moines and Chicago could see damaging storms there. We'll talk more about the heat and the flood risk. The rain can't be understated. That has been devastating as well. Whit, back to you. Rob Marciano, thank you. Joining us is Alonzo Adams who lives just outside of el Reno and witnessed this deadly weather event. Thanks for speaking with us. We truly appreciate it. This suspected tornado hit at night, perhaps when a lot of people were sleeping. What did you experience when it roared through? I was watching it on TV like most central oklahomans. It looked to be just like a regular Oklahoma thunderstorm with rain and hail and lightning. All of a sudden it hit, tornado sirens were blasting here in my area and the next thing you know they were talking about debris in the air. I got into my car and headed out to el Reno on interstate 40 and as you got into el Reno around the highway 81, I-40 area, you saw debris scattered everywhere. As you mentioned, many of these communities are equipped with tornado sirens. How much of a warning did people get? Not much at all with this one. This spun up extremely quickly and put down a fairly significant tornado. Alarming to know people maybe didn't have much time to react. We also know one of the hardest hit areas was a hotel and a nearby trailer park ripped to shreds according to some witnesses. How would you describe the damage left behind there? I couldn't believe what I was seeing once I got there. The tornado damage completely leveled parts of the hotel, motel. There were cars thrown into the front part of the hotel. There was a car embedded into the side of a hotel. I could see one trailer home that was flipped on top of another trailer home. There was significant damage for that type of tornado. This morning, search and rescue crews will be out sifting through that damage. What's your biggest concern as those efforts get under way today? The biggest efforts are -- the challenges I see is lots of people going to see this damage. That's going to hinder some of the response time. So I would say people need to stay away from the area and give the first responders time to do their work and get everything, you know, back to somewhat normal. The other is the amount of damage. There's going to be power lines down. There's going to be, you know, gas, pipes that have been ajar and busted so everyone needs to stay away from there and that's going to be a big challenge for the first responders. Alonzo Adams, thank you so much for speaking with us. We're glad you're okay and we're thinking about everybody there in el Reno, Oklahoma this morning. Thank you. Thank you. Another thing Alonzo told us, he was comparing it to the tornado six years ago, same area, deadly tornado. He said this one was close but not quite as bad. This morning as the sun comes up they're still getting a sense of the devastation out there. You can't really see any of that until the sun is up. Exactly. Thanks, whit. Now to that incredible story
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