At least two people were killed and several others injured after an apparent tornado made landfall Saturday night in the Oklahoma City suburb of El Reno.
A motel was demolished in the storm, officials said. A trailer park, car dealership and a number of other businesses also sustained major damage.
The El Reno mayor, Matt White, said at a press conference that the suspected tornado had virtually levelled the second floor of the American Budget Value Inn, saying most of it is “just not there anymore.”
He said officials did not yet know how many people were staying at the motel when the twister struck, adding, “We’re trying to run those numbers down now.”
The nearby Skyview Estates mobile home park suffered extensive damage, The Oklahoman reported. A resident of the park told the newspaper that he heard a “roar” when the suspected tornado swept through the area.
Another resident, Tweety Garrison, told The Associated Press that the mobile home next to hers had “flipped over and landed on her roof” during the storm.
White said a search-and-rescue effort was underway at the trailer park and other areas.
“We are all hands on deck,” the mayor said, describing the storm damage as “very traumatic.”
“Pray for our community,” White said, according to The New York Times. “We’ve been through a lot here lately.”
My goodness. First images from the El Reno tornado damage via SkyNews 9 and @jimintheair. The damage path is extremely narrow and not more than 1/4 to 1/2 long but boy is it devastating. Search and rescue still ongoing. #okwx@NEWS9pic.twitter.com/y3kxdQdGT3— Matt Mahler (@themahler) May 26, 2019
Oklahoma and other parts of the central U.S. have been battered by powerful storms and tornadoes in recent days and several storm-related fatalities have been reported.
On Wednesday, three people were killed in Golden City, Missouri, following a violent tornado. The day before, a woman drowned near Perkins, Oklahoma, after driving onto a flooded road.