Fierce storms, tornadoes hit Oklahoma; state of emergency declared

Oklahoma storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes mark the beginning of tornado season

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 25 counties on Thursday after severe storms tore through the state with fierce straight-line winds and tornadoes that killed one person, injured others and destroyed buildings. 

“Last night’s storms led to widespread damage throughout a large portion of the state,” Fallin said in a statement. “I appreciate the ongoing work of our first responders who have been working through the night to assist those in need.”

Storms destroyed buildings, tore off roofs and ravaged a mobile home park in a suburb of Tulsa, according to the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. 

Some 80,000 Oklahoma residents were left without power Wednesday evening, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said. By Thursday morning, that number dropped to about 15,000, according to department spokeswoman Keli Cain.

Tornadoes hit throughout the state, as well as in Arkansas. One small tornado swept through the suburb of Moore in Oklahoma City, Cain said, where 24 people died in a tornado in 2013. 

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