More Tornadoes Bear Down on Midwest as Toddler Remains Missing

14 dead after twisters in Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas.

ByABC News
May 25, 2011, 12:18 AM

May 25, 2011— -- Searchers hunted desperately for a 3-year-old boy in the wreckage of an Oklahoma tornado today as forecasters warned of yet another wave of severe weather that could trigger even more twisters for the hard-hit region.

Fresh tornado strikes are predicted this evening in portions of the mid-Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys.

Conditions will be ripe for the formation of long-track, violent tornadoes in those areas, possibly bringing further devastation to the area, the National Weather Service said.

The death toll from the latest storms in Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas rose to 14 today, while the National Weather Service reports that a tornado has "destroyed the full town" of Denning, Ark. Three people died in the hamlet whose population is about 270.

Ryan Hamil, a 3-year-old boy from hard-hit Piedmont, Okla., is unaccounted for as survivors dig through rubble caused by a tornado Tuesday evening. A dog team is looking for the toddler at his last known location on 248th Street and Sara Road in Piedmont.

Mayor Valerie Thomerson told ABC News Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO that the boy's home was destroyed and his mother and siblings were injured when a powerful tornado touched down Tuesday night. As many as 200 homes were damaged in the town of 3,650 people.

In Louisburg, Kan., Dan Goff was heading to pick up his daughter from school when his Ford pickup truck, which can weigh up to 2 tons, was tossed into the air like a matchcar.

"I was out on road [and] heard about all the tornado warnings. I seen it up ahead of me so I pulled over. It looked like it went up into clouds so I said 'OK, I'm good.' I got back in the truck, shut the door [and fastened my] seatbelt," Goff said. "All I remember is the truck got picked up, I put my hands over my face, and I felt like the truck was being bounced around. Next thing I knew I was outside laying in grass."

The tornado held him and his truck in the air for five to 10 seconds before slamming it back down to earth. Goff escaped with minor injuries.

Rescue workers in Joplin continued the search for survivors in the rubble left by Sunday's devastating EF-5 tornado that has left at least 125 in the city dead and leveled at least 30 percent of the town of about 50,000 people.

The actor Brad Pitt spent time in Joplin growing up, "my grandparents are from there and its about 50-60 miles from where I grew up ... my thoughts are certainly with them."

Want to help? Here is a list of organizations.

A Joplin, Mo., Tornado Recovery Facebook page has been created for people reaching out for information about lost loved ones.

AccuWeather confirmed that a tornado moved through Denning, which sits about 160 miles south of Joplin, early Wednesday.

Meteorologist John Dlugoenski of AccuWeather described it as a "large wedge tornado." These types of tornadoes, he reports, cause the most damage because of their width. The NWS reports that the tornado was up to a mile wide right before it hit Denning.

That tornado is part of the same storm system that tore through Joplin on Sunday.

"It was on the ground for quite a while, probably something approaching 20 miles on the ground. And for what we could see on radar, we would believe it was large. it was probably somewhere on the order of a half mile to maybe even a mile wide at times," Steve Piltz, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Tulsa, Oklahoma said Wednesday.

The National Weather Service also reported a large wedge tornado just southeast of Dallas in Hutchins, Texas, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Flights were reportedly grounded in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and local news reported that passengers were being pulled off of planes on the tarmac and moved to a massive basement.

2011 Has become the deadliest year for tornadoes since 1953, with over 500 deaths from 1,000 tornadoes so far, according to NOAA.

April also set a record as the deadliest month with 361 tornado-related deaths, according to NOAA's records.

ABC News' Jackie Meretsky contributed to this report.