Residents take stock after night of tornadoes in central US

Angie Massey
May 19, 2017

The Elk City tornado killed one person and destroyed at least 40 homes, according to the Associated Press.

A sofa sits on damaged trees after a tornado ripped through Prairie Lake Estates trailer home park, just north of Chetek, Wis., Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

"It sounded like a machine gun", a resident said.

The National Weather Service says three tornadoes have touched down briefly in mostly rural areas of Kansas as a severe storm system stretched from Oklahoma into south-central Kansas.

Tornadoes are rated on a six-point scale, from the weakest (EF-0) to the strongest (EF-5). An EF2 or higher is considered a significant tornado. He estimated the park had around 50 homes.

"We're looking at the damage to try to determine how strong the tornado was, how wide it was and how long the path was here around Elk City", said Smith.

"It got louder and louder and you could hear it chugging like a train", a resident said. "It was like a nightmare - out of a movie".

Helicopter video from WCCO-TV and KARE-TV shows extensive damage at the trailer park, with several homes reduced to rubble.

First responders lifted walls to reach people trapped under the debris while making their way through what was left of the Prairie Lake Estate Mobile Home Park after the twister struck.

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A 46-year-old man was killed at the trailer park and at least 25 other people were injured, according to the Barron County Sheriff's Department.

Severe thunderstorms brought hail and one spotted tornado across parts of western Oklahoma and northwestern Texas on Thursday, after two days of severe weather in the Plains and Midwest.

Walker says he's impressed with how the community has come together to help the victims, but the damage is devastating. He directed state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to help those affected by the storms.

"It's all leveled. All the way to the road", a resident said.

As the tornado continued on it crossed the street and hit a Jennie-O turkey farm, destroying 6 of their barns.

"It was chaos. People everywhere".

Joseph Weiland's home is gone.

"My roof actually flew right off and we had to gather up the pieces and piece it back together on top of the roof so it wouldn't be leaking in", Osgood said. "All I have is the clothes that I am wearing now".

While the forest behind Eric White's property was leveled, his home was not.

Other reports by GizPress

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