Nightly News   |  May 29, 2013

Severe storms target Oklahoma...again

The same communities devastated by the storm that hit Oklahoma 10 days ago are in danger once more, drawing intense focus on the forecast. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> in this wild season of weather. there is more than one wave of severe weather . again tonight it's already been severe. the threat is tornadoes embedded inside bad weather from texas to minnesota with tributaries in the northeast and northwest. all in all another night of this means over 60 million americans are in the path of potentially severe weather tonight. as we go on the air this evening, at least 20 states are under some sort of tornado watch or tornado warning . we begin our coverage tonight with nbc's janet shamlian in pratt, kansas , in the south central part of the state. janet, good evening.

>> reporter: hi, brian. there are tornado warnings all over tonight from texas to kansas up to nebraska where just within the last 90 minutes there are reports of at least six twisters on the ground. as you said, this is a very powerful system. those warnings are going to continue all night into the next couple of days. a massive dangerous tornado tearing up kansas .

>> this is getting way too close for comfort.

>> reporter: within an hour there was another even larger. it stays on the ground more than an hour tuesday. denny took shelter in a building on his farm when the twister raced through.

>> kept on getting stronger and stronger. all at once there was nothing over me e. everything just left.

>> reporter: some 21 reported tornadoes in 24 hours , most in kansas . stretching from texas north to michigan, a state that rarely sees twisters. the national weather service launched a team to assess the damage. in erie, pennsylvania, a rare tornado damaged buildings and toppled power lines . no one was hurt.

>> this is a high precipitation super cell .

>> reporter: in amarillo, texas , the news team at kmar took shelter in the bathroom as the storm closed in.

>> we are taking cover now in the center of the building. a tornado passed yards away from the downtown area.

>> reporter: meteorologist john harris never stopped broadcasting.

>> it was a roar, a discomforting thought. we knew there was something going on outside of the building.

>> reporter: in illinois, floodiflood i ing. the power of the storm captured on security cameras as torrential rain sent floodwaters bursting through the doors. tonight, no let-up. watches and warnings covered several states as severe storms target the same communities devastated last week.

>> the ingredients today and thursday are very similar to what we saw back when shawnee and moore, oklahoma, were hit ten days ago. the turning of the winds that allowed the storms to rotate. when they do, they drop tornadoes.

>> reporter: the severe weather is pushing through just as moore is trying to regain its footing. crosses outside plaza towers elementary a somber reminder of the loss. there is intense focus on the forecast as the cleanup continues tonight. no one is letting their guard down here. communities like this are on high alert tonight. while the system is moving to the north and east it is doing so slowly meaning kansas and oklahoma will have warnings for at least the next 24 hours . brian?

>> janet shamlian with just one of the crews covering this tonight in pratt, kansas . thanks.