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12 Injured, One Dead As Tornadoes Roar Across The Plains

Oklahoma governor declares a state of emergency Thursday in 12 counties. Tornadoes were reported across the plains Wednesday, causing severe damage to dozens of structures in multiple states.

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Oklahoma's governor declared a state of emergency Thursday after tornadoes swept through the state.

I will be touring damage in Bridge Creek w/emergency officials at 11 AM. A state of emergency has been issued https://t.co/Yd6KEKYt8y

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Governor Mary Fallin will be touring damaged areas Thursday after she declared a state of emergency in 12 counties across the state. The storms that swept through the state Wednesday dropped huge balls of hail and caused at least 50 tornadoes, according to NBC News.

One fatality was reported by police, a 42-year-old woman who drowned in a storm shelter, NBC News reported. At least a dozen people were left injured and the record 7.1 inches of rain caused flash floods in some areas.


A dangerous storm moving across the Plains Wednesday produced several tornadoes in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, causing significant damage to homes and businesses.

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In Oklahoma Wednesday, severe storms produced multiple tornadoes.

A flash flood warning was issued for Oklahoma City until 9 a.m. Thursday, because heavy rain was also expected. At the time the warning was issued, up to eight inches had already fallen, according to the National Weather Service.

At least 12 people were reportedly injured, the Emergency Medical Services Authority said, according to KFOR. Two people were possibly critically injured in a trailer park near the Interstate 35.

The large tornado, reported to be nearly 1/4-mile wide, was also spotted moving toward Newcastle, Oklahoma, News9 reported.

A tornado by Will Rogers Airport, which is near Oklahoma City, forced the closure and evacuation of the airfield. The storm hit suburban Oklahoma City Wednesday evening.

All flights are canceled for the rest of the night. There will be no more flights tonight at WRWA.

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The National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency in Newcastle, Bridge Creek, Moore, and southern Oklahoma City, which was hit hard two years ago.

.@OKCFOX tracker @WxOklahoma showing tornado near Newcastle, Oklahoma. #okwx

Dozens of homes were reported destroyed near Chickasha, Oklahoma, as of 7:30 p.m. local time.

Grady County Emergency Services director Dale Thompson said about 10 homes were destroyed in Amber, while about 25 more homes in Bridge Creek were destroyed or have major damage.

Damage being reported northeast of Chickasha #okwx

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Bridge creek tornado damage. A daycare here was hit. All children and adults are safe. They were in shelter. @NEWS9

CONFIRMED: This is what's left of the Bridge Creek Fire Department after hit by tornado @NEWS9 #okwx

There were also reports of damage to Norman Hotel, located near the University of Oklahoma.

@kfor tornado damage to the Norman hotel.

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The driver of a truck which crashed during severe weather on Interstate 35 in Moore, Oklahoma, was rescued after officials cut him from the vehicle.

The owners of Tiger Safari, an exotic zoo in Tuttle, Oklahoma, said their bears had escaped Wednesday, but the animals were later accounted for and they were not injured, the Grady County sheriff's office confirmed to KFOR.

Tiger Safari in Tuttle, OK was hit by the storm. Wild animals have escaped. Do NOT leave your homes. #BREAKING @kfor

The Tiger Safari is home to tigers, snakes, owls, lemurs, and other creatures.

In Nebraska, a tornado hit Roseland, a small town of about 250 people, at 4:22 p.m. local time, destroying at 10 to 15 homes and a local Catholic church.

No major injuries were reported as a result of the damage, but Red Cross disaster teams are on their way to the scene, the Associated Press reported.

In Kansas, multiple tornadoes were also spotted, including a "stovepipe" tornado.

Around 5:10 near Halstead KS. #kswx

Scandia Kansas @weatherchannel @JWSevereWeather @cnn

There was also structural damage reported in Kansas.

Travis Heying / AP

Charmaine Foraker is hugged by her son Harlan, as she and her other son Craig Foracker, second from left, arrive at the scene of the family farmstead near Bentley, Kanas, that was destroyed by a tornado Wednesday.

The only missing member of the family has been found. Lulu Foraker is safe, though scared. #KWCH12 #storm12

Portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas remained under tornado watches and warnings Wednesday evening.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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