Rare, high-risk tornado outbreak underway across southern Plains

Families were bracing for potentially violent and deadly twisters as nighttime approached.
4:45 | 05/21/19

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Transcript for Rare, high-risk tornado outbreak underway across southern Plains
tornadoes on the ground this evening, and authorities have issued their highest threat level in two years, predicting those long tractor nay does in the hours ahead. That could be on the ground for miles, in fact. Already tonight, look at this. The images coming in now, this tornado, in fact, just moments ago, touching the ground near Oklahoma City. We've been mob or thing the live images all often. Two tornadoes there in Oklahoma. That's actually a super cell your looking at hovering over spinning wind turbines. This comes after a terrifying weekend for so many. More than 40 or the nay codoes hammering eight states over the weekend. This monster tornado is in Kansas. And an ef-2 in Oklahoma, winds of 130 miles an hour, reports of new damage already coming in. Tonight, the threat is expected to last well into the evening. A dangerous one ahead. ABC meteorologist rob Marciano leading us off in Oklahoma. Reporter: Tonight, a rare, high risk tornado outbreak now underway across the southern plains. We've got two tornados that are now developing. There's a tornado. There's a tornado. Reporter: Families bracing for potentially violent and deadly long tractor track tornadoes as night time approaches. Tonight's outbreak is the culmination of a weekend of powerful tornadoes and severe weather. Turn! 300 yards! Getting closer! Reporter: Storm chasers out in force. It's on the road! It knocked a semi over on the road in front of us! Reporter: Tractor trailers flipping south of dodge city, Kansas. It's touching down! Reporter: Accuweather meteorologist reed Timmer intercepting this twister -- Tornado, tornado! Reporter: -- South of north Platte, Nebraska. He was caught outside his vehicle. I just had to point my back into the wind and hunker down. Reporter: And in geronimo, Oklahoma -- this home was ripped apart by one of over 40 tornadoes that came through this area over the weekend. The couple that lives here were inside this house when the twister hit. The woman inside this room, these walls, collapsing in on her. She was pinned to the ground by piles of bricks. Many Oklahoma schools closed and this is why. It's almost over, it's almost over. Reporter: Six years ago today, in complete darkness, briarwood elementary school teacher robin Dziedzic capturing this video of her students riding out a violent tornado. Oh my god. Oh my god. Reporter: Emerging to find total destruction. Everyone surviving at this school. That ef-5 twister, winds above 200 miles per hour, claiming 24 lives. Let's get to rob Marciano, live in Oklahoma, and rob, I know you are monitoring a very active situation near you right now. Reporter: That's right, David. Tornado warnings abound. We just had a cell come through our position about 20 minutes ago, with three areas of spin. It is just a few miles behind me. Now we have confirmation that that cell has dropped a tornado on the ground. Everything that develops in this part of the state of Oklahoma will be heading east towards the highly populated area of I-35, which includes Oklahoma City, as nighttime falls. So, a very dangerous night ahead. David? Rob Marciano, thank you. Stay safe. As you know, rob, meteorologist ginger zee is in Moore, Oklahoma, tonight. And ginger, it was six years ago, we were standing there in Moore after the devastating tornado, I'll never forget that. And it know years later they've already closed schools ahead of this system, everyone taking this seriously. And you're in one of those storm shelters that saved so many people the last time. Reporter: The last time, and this, David, is actually a brand new storm shelter that this family put in, they've got their food, their flashlights, radios ready to go, because this is the type of shelter that will keep you alive in the type of storm that made its way through here six years ago today and the type of storm that's going to be on the ground in parts of Oklahoma and other areasle of the plains tonight. A particularly dangerous situation from Midland Texas, up through Missouri, parts of Arkansas tonight, and much of the state of Oklahoma. It's not just the tornado warnings you see on the map, but the atmosphere that is violent right now and ready to erupt. As that line congeals, tonight, you could see 80-plus-mile-per-hour winds, you could see flash flooding. I don't want to leave that out. If you are in Tulsa or east of Oklahoma City, five to eight inches of rain, that's how a lot of people end up dying in these situations, it's not the tornadoes, it's the water. Then the storms move east tomorrow, mostly Illinois and David, I'm right across that school where we met six years ago today, it is abnormally quiet and I'm so glad to hear that, because people are really respecting the weather and prepared. All right, ginger, thank you. And to rob Marciano and our team

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