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Death toll rising as a result from last night's storms

Death toll rising as a result from last night's storms

POSTED: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 2:09am

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 5:49am


Deputy sheriff confirms third fatality in storm outbreak in western Ark.; 3-state total now 13


Violent storms kill 12 in Okla., Kan., Ark.

The high-powered storms arrived as forecast, just days after a massive tornado tore through the southwest Missouri town of Joplin and killed 122 people. After killing two people in Kansas and five in Oklahoma, they continued their trek east into Arkansas.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Tommy Jackson says at least one person died after a tornado ripped through the Arkansas community of Denning early Wednesday. There weren't any immediate details about how the person died.

Hours earlier, several tornadoes struck Oklahoma City and its suburbs during the Tuesday night rush hour, killing at least five people and injuring at least 60 others, including three children who were in critical condition, authorities said.

Cherokee Ballard, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner, said four people died west of Oklahoma City in Canadian County, where a weather-monitoring site in El Reno recorded 151 mph winds.

At Chickasha, 25 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, a 26-year-old woman died when a tornado hit a mobile home park where residents had been asked to evacuate their trailers, Assistant Police Chief Elip Moore said. He said a dozen people were injured and that hundreds were displaced when the storm splintered their homes.

In Kansas, police said two people died when high winds threw a tree into their van around 6 p.m. near the small town of St. John, about 100 miles west of Wichita. The highway was shut down because of storm damage.

The path of the storms included Joplin, which is cleaning up from a Sunday storm that was the nation's eighth-deadliest twister among records dating to 1840.

"Unfortunately, this event will likely continue for some time," Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said. "I am asking all Oklahomans to stay aware of the weather and to take proper precautions to keep themselves out of harm's way."

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