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Tornado Warnings Issued for Oklahoma and Texas

Cheryl Kahla
May 20, 2019
10:21 P.M.
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Severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes are predicted in the Southern Plains through Monday evening. The storms are expected to hit before midnight.

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As reported by AccuWeather, The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued a high risk for portions of Oklahoma and Texas.

This is the first time a high-risk warning has been issued in the past two years. The most severe tornado outbreaks were recorded back in 2012. 

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WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE WORSENING

Residents are warned that straight-line wind gusts can reach up to 90 miles per hour and are strong enough to knock down trees and power utilities. 

Golf-sized hail balls have already been observed in Oklahoma and flooding through the night remains a concern. Residents need to take the necessary precautions. 

The worst is yet to come. Over the next couple of hours, heavy storms will move into Oklahoma City and extend northeast to Tulsa.

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UP TO 50 MILLION RESIDENTS AT RISK

The Flood warning extends north into Kansas and east into Missouri. Over two million people are in harm's way, and the threat will only increase during the night. 

In addition to the flood warnings, approximately 50 million citizens are at risk of gale force winds, large hail, and mudslides. 

Due to this risk, schools in Oklahoma and Tulsa are closed, airline flights are canceled, and the Tinker Air Force Base has been evacuated. 

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HOW TO PREPARE

FEMA suggests that families practice their evacuation plan ahead of time, such as leaving the premises in a hurry and traveling the route to a shelter. 

Stock up for three days with essentials like food and water, and keep each person's specific needs in mind when it comes to dietary choices and medication. 

Keep supply kits in different locations if possible, and assist community members with building a kit if you have the means to do so. 

Service your car to ensure that it is a good working condition. Keep extra gas and supplies in the trunk if needed, as well as a spare change of clothes. 

The safest spot is in a sturdy room with minimal windows and doors on the ground floor. If the building floods, proceed to the highest point. Steer clear of the attic as flood waters could hinder your escape.

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