1 death as tornado hits Oklahoma subdivision

Alvin Kelly
May 19, 2017

"It's a mess", Fitzgerald said while requesting at least four more ambulances to the scene. "Our firefighters and deputies were lifting parts of trailers off people".

The governor toured the damage Wednesday at the Prairie Lake Estates Mobile Home Park in Chetek. Around 3 p.m., heavy rains and hail hit areas in the southeast metro including Inver Grove Heights and Eagan.

The two tornado deaths from Tuesday's storms bring the nation's 2017 total up to 34 fatalities, more than 2016 in its entirety (18) and nearly as many as 2015 (36), according to Patrick Marsh, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center. He estimates the park had around 50 homes. Many of his neighbors in the trailer park weren't so fortunate.

"People are looking on their phones, there's a tornado touchdown right where I live", he said.

Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said all of the residents of that park have now been accounted for. Entire subdivisions were lost and 25 people were injured.

One man was found dead, 45 year old Erik Gavin.

With no homes to return to, residents stayed Tuesday and Wednesday with family members, friends or motels. One person in a vehicle was killed, according to local media.

Elk City school officials have canceled classes for Wednesday.

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A 46-year-old man was killed and more than 25 others were injured Tuesday evening when a reported tornado devastated a trailer park near Chetek in western Wisconsin. Mayor Jeff Martin in nearby Chetek (sheh-TEK') says turkeys can be seen wandering in the damage. The size of that search has been scaled back, but it still continues at this hour because the sheriff said there are people who live in Prairie Lake Estates trailer court who are unaccounted for. "It's heartwarming. Everybody wants to help".

The American Red Cross has two reception centers set up. He said he was not aware of any injuries in that touchdown. The other reception center is located at 311 East Miner Ave.in Ladysmith.

Beckham County Emergency Management Director Lonnie Risenhoover (RYE'-zuhn-hoo-vur) said "a lot of tornado damage" has been reported to the subdivision and surrounding rural area.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for a wide swath of Iowa, reports CBS affiliate KCCI in Des Moines.

The tornados were part of a system of severe storms that rolled through the northern Chippewa Valley Tuesday evening.

A second tornado a mile south of Ladysmith was reported by the National Weather Service at 7 p.m.

"If everybody had that kind of attitude, then our community is just going to be that much better", she said.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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