Tornadoes hit the Midwest; flooding remains a major concern
Severe storms roared through the Midwest, unleashing tornadoes, rain and golfball-size hail, and shutting down the main airport in Oklahoma City.
Flooding and heavy winds hit parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska on Wednesday night.
The Oklahoma City area appeared to be the hardest hit, with as much as eight inches of rain reported within hours, according to the National Weather Service.
At least 13 people were injured when a tornado hit a mobile home park, said Susie Patterson of the Emergency Medical Services Authority in Oklahoma City
The city’s main threat Wednesday night were flashfloods as residents reported washed-out roads.
“There’s debris just everywhere, and there’s a lot of water on the roadways,” Capt. Paul Timmons of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
No flights out
Low visibility made it difficult to reach some affected areas, Timmons said.
The National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency — the first in Oklahoma City’s history. The city’s main airport canceled all flights for the rest of the night Wednesday and evacuated passengers and employees to a pedestrian tunnel.
“There will be no more flights tonight at WRWA,” the Will Rogers World Airport tweeted.
Damaging winds, lightning and tornadoes also affected the area, Oklahoma City officials said in a situational update.
The storms are part of a larger system going through Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray said.
Hospital on generator power
The Norman Regional Hospital in Oklahoma City had some minor damage and is on generator power but is fully operational, health officials said.
Norman hotel also sustained some damage.
In Bridge Creek, Oklahoma, about 30 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, forecasters warned residents to take cover as the Weather Service issued a tornado emergency and said a large, destructive twister was in the area.
Jeff Theis, who shot video of a dark funnel cloud near Hardy, Nebraska, said he saw a tornado destroy a farm in the community. Hardy is near the state line with Kansas.
A tornado also hit Roseland, a rural town near Hastings, CNN affiliate WOWT reported.
Forecasters warned of large hail, strong winds and isolated tornadoes overnight, especially in south central Nebraska. .
Weather spotters reported seeing tornadoes northeast of the town of Lincoln, according to the National Weather Service.
Severe storms were expected to give way to showers by Thursday morning.
In north-central Kansas, reported tornadoes ripped apart homes, uprooted trees and downed power lines, CNN affiliate KWCH reported.
Areas affected included Republic and Scandia, where there were multiple reports of damage to buildings.
By Faith Karimi and Catherine E. Shoichet
CNN’s Tina Burnside, Sean Morris, Henry Hanks, Sam Stringer, Jeremy Grisham and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.