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Tornadoes strike in Oklahoma, Texas

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LeAnn Morgan cleans up tornado damage in Seminole on Thursday. A springtime storm system spawned several tornadoes that whipped through areas of Texas and Oklahoma, causing damage to a school, a marijuana farm and other structures.  (Photo by Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP)

SEMINOLE (AP) – A springtime storm system spawned several tornadoes that whipped through areas of Texas and Oklahoma Wednesday night, causing damage to a school, a marijuana farm, and other structures.

There were no reports of serious injuries following the tornadoes, but the system was causing flooding in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas and more stormy weather was expected Thursday.

Significant damage was reported in the Oklahoma town of Seminole, about 60 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said. The Academy of Seminole took a direct hit but no one was injured, the school said on Facebook.

“While the entire town of Seminole is without power, I’m grateful there are currently no reported injuries or fatalities, and I am prayerful that remains to be the case,” state Sen. Zack Taylor, R-Seminole, said in a media statement. “My heart goes out to those who have been impacted by this tornado, but I know our community will pull together and come through the storm stronger than ever.

Taylor said the Red Cross was on the scene Thursday, and the Seminole FBC Bridge and Haney Center were open as shelter sites.

“I will be coordinating with the governor’s office as needs are assessed and we determine what assistance may be available for the recovery process,” he said.

Video footage from Oklahoma TV station KOCO showed a tornado hit a marijuana farm in the nearby town of Maud.

Several roads and highways were closed Thursday morning in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas because of flash flooding.

In Texas, a “large and dangerous tornado” was spotted Wednesday in the rural community of Lockett, about 170 miles northwest of Dallas, the National Weather Service office in Norman reported.

There were no significant injuries or deaths to residents in Wilbarger County, Sheriff Brian Fritze told KAUZ-TV. He said several homes and barns appeared to sustain extensive damage.

The Wednesday storms were the latest in several rounds of severe weather in the central United States. Last week, a tornado damaged more than 1,000 buildings in the Wichita suburb of Andover, Kansas. Three University of Oklahoma meteorology students died in a car crash while returning from storm chasing.

More stormy weather was expected Thursday from Texas into parts of the South. The storms could bring more tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds, and the threat of severe weather will continue Friday in parts of the South and over the weekend in the central Plains and Midwest, the weather service said.



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