At least 12 people were injured in Oklahoma City as multiple tornadoes sweep through Plains overnight overturning cars and destroying dozens of homes.
Strong winds, large hail, flash flooding, tornadoes and at least one large twister hit areas from Texas to Nebraska.
Tigers and other animals briefly escaped from the Tiger Safari park after a tornado struck the city of Tuttle, about 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Oklahoma City, though they were recaptured without further incident, the Grady County Sheriff’s Office said.
The states Will Rogers World Airport airport was forced to evacuate as a safety precaution.
In addition to severe storms and tornadoes, Oklahoma residents had to contend with power outages, golf-ball-sized hail, and flooding. Even wild animals got loose at one town’s Tiger Safari wildlife refuge.
One of the day’s largest tornadoes, according to local CBS affiliate KWTV, occurred around 4:30 pm local time and resulted in the formation of several satellite twisters. The big storm, whose main tornado measured about a quarter-mile wide, caused damage in Bridge Creek, Blanchard, Norman and Newcastle in the central part of the state.
Less than four hours later, another large tornado sprouted from the same storm near Bridge Creek. A daycare center was reportedly struck, but fortunately all the children and staff had already been moved to a shelter.
Aerial views of Bridge Creek from local news outlets also show wide swathes of damage from the storm. So far, no injuries have been reported, but 25 buildings were destroyed, according to the Associated Press.
Another 10 were destroyed in Amber, some 12 miles west of Bridge Creek.
Due to the dangerous weather, the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City was evacuated as a precaution. Flooding was reported at one of the terminals and people were advised not to drop off or pick up travelers at the airport.