Death Toll Rises To 9 In Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Death Toll Rises To 9 In Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak

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Dog among damage in Piedmont. Dog among damage in Piedmont.
Vehicle damaged in Piedmont. Vehicle damaged in Piedmont.
Picture of Guthrie tornado damage. Picture of Guthrie tornado damage.
Picture of Ryan Hamil provided by the family. Picture of Ryan Hamil provided by the family.
Piedmont resident picking up from the storm. Piedmont resident picking up from the storm.

PIEDMONT, Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office says at least nine people have died in severe storms that moved through central Oklahoma Tuesday evening.

Spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard says at least six people, including a young child, are dead in Canadian County, two are dead in Logan County and one in Grady County.

Tornado Damage Clean Up

Ballard released the following statistics on the tornado victims Wednesday afternoon:

16-month-old boy - Piedmont
Unidentified female – Calumet
Unidentified female – Calumet
Unidentified male - Calumet
Unidentified male - Calumet
63-year-old male - Cashion
58-year-old female - Cashion
24-year-old female - Chickasha
22-year-old male - Calumet

All of the counties are located in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

See more coverage of the Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says three of the people killed were found north of Interstate 40 and near abandoned vehicles.  OHP Capt. Chris West says the bodies found by troopers on Tuesday were stripped of clothing and more than 300 yards north of the interstate in El Reno.

West says it's unclear if the victims were sucked out of their vehicles as the tornado crossed the interstate or if they were trying to seek shelter from the storms.

West says the medical examiner's office is working to identify the victims. He says the bodies were "unrecognizable."  He says several unattended vehicles believed to belong to the victims were found.

The community of Piedmont in Canadian County is one of the hardest-hit areas. 

Search crews have expanded the search into two more counties for a Piedmont boy swept away by the tornado.  The boy was with his mother and two other siblings riding out the storm in their home near Falcon Lake. 

That tornado ripped homes right off their foundations. 

The boy's mother, who is pregnant, and his 5-year-old sister, Cathleen Hamil, were critically injured.

A brother, 15-month-old Cole, died at an Oklahoma City hospital Wednesday morning.

Three-year-old Ryan is still missing. 

Law enforcement and volunteers have been searching the area around the lake Tuesday. On Wednesday night, crews expanded their search from Canadian County into Logan and Kingfisher counties.

The city of Newcastle in McClain County also took a direct hit from the storms with a tornado touching down on businesses and homes.  

The owners of one home say they'd only lived there for two months.  They never thought they would have to use their storm shelter. 

Not far from them, the gym of a Baptist church was ripped apart, while the steeple from another church landed in front of the home of the pastor's elderly mother. 

A tornado destroyed a home northwest of Oklahoma City along state Highway 74 which belonged to Jim Apel, an employee at News 9, our sister station. 

The tornado destroyed his home, barn, and the family's airplane hangar.  

"I was thankful we weren't here, thankful we were all safe, all of our family members were in different places. I had daughters and sons at work we were here fortunately and saw it coming so were able to get out of the way. We're just thankful we are alive and all this stuff can be replaced, it's just stuff," said Jim Apel. 

Jim and his wife were inside their home when they heard word the storm was about 10 miles away, so they decided to put their dogs in the basement and drive north to Calumet.

The dogs survived, but their horses and other farm animals did not.

Our storm chasers have amazing video of the tornadoes as they touched down Tuesday afternoon in central Oklahoma.  One of the first tornadoes to touch down was in Canton. 

Tornado timeline:

  • 3:15 p.m.  Canton
  • 3:52 p.m.   Hinton
  • 4:35 p.m.   El Reno
  • 4:45 p.m.   Piedmont
  • 5:15 p.m.   Cashion
  • 5:25 p.m.   Guthrie
  • 5:40 p.m.   Dibble
  • 6:00 p.m.   Oklahoma City
  • 6:07 p.m.   Stillwater

5/24/2011 Related Stories:
At Least Four Killed, 60 Injured In Oklahoma Tornadoes
Toddler Missing In Piedmont After Tornado
Viewer Pics Show Damage From Central Oklahoma Tornadoes
Tornado Damage Reported Near Canton Lake In Oklahoma

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