Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Declares State of Emergency After Tornadoes

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Oklahoma's governor has declared a state of emergency for 25 counties, a day after a swarm of tornadoes spiraled across the state.

The Tulsa area was hit the hardest: A mobile home park in suburban Sand Springs sustained "massive destruction," and one person died there, the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said. Numerous injuries and other damage were reported across Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Gov. Mary Fallin announced the emergency declaration after touring Southgate Elementary School in Moore. The school's roof was torn off and it suffered water damage, but no injuries were reported when the tornado hit there Wednesday night after school hours.

"This is kind of like a junior tornado for us. We're very fortunate no one lost their lives," Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis told reporters.

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A 2013 tornado that hit Moore decimated two schools and killed seven students.

"It's hard to believe that two years later, we're back at a Moore public school, surveying damage," Fallin said. "I am very thankful that this school did not sustain damage during school hours."

"We've been down this road before. We know what to do," she added.

Elsewhere in Oklahoma, residents were cleaning up after golf ball-sized hail and heavy rain fell from the sky during Wednesday's rush hour, toppling a radio station antenna and damaging houses. Power was being restored Thursday to tens of thousands.

The May 2013 tornado that battered Moore was an EF5 twister that killed 24 people and prompted a dialogue on school safety in that area of the country, known as "Tornado Alley."

"The lessons we've learned over the many, many years ... is that we have to talk. We have to coordinate. And we're good at that: In fact, I would say we're the best state in the nation when it comes to a tragedy or some kind of disaster," Fallin said Thursday.



—Elizabeth Chuck