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Two Killed as Violent Storms, Tornadoes Sweep Across Plains

A storm system that killed at least two people in Oklahoma and spawned reports of more than 20 possible tornadoes tore into Arkansas.
IMAGE: Oklahoma funnel cloud
A funnel cloud Monday near Davis, Oklahoma.Mike Smith via Twitter

A storm system that killed at least two people in Oklahoma and spawned reports of more than 20 possible tornadoes tore into Arkansas overnight.

An elderly man was one of two people who died when storms hit south-central Oklahoma on Monday, authorities told NBC News. The man, who wasn't immediately identified, died when a large, fast-moving tornado swept through Garvin County, said Bud Ramming, the county's emergency management director. The tornado destroyed several structures, overturned vehicles and tore limbs from trees.

The "large and extremely dangerous" tornado also trapped six people under debris south of the town of Wynnewood in Garvin County, the National Weather Service said. The agency reported that multiple homes were destroyed between Elmore City and Interstate 35.

A second person was killed in a storm-related incident in the Connorville-Bromide area, the Johnston County Sheriff's Office told NBC News. Details weren't immediately available.

The tornado was one of several spun off by a violent weather system that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center warned could create more twisters with wind speeds above 100 mph from eastern Oklahoma to central Arkansas.

"There's a lot of damage to be surveyed Tuesday, and the [National] Weather Service will be very busy," said Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

A severe storm overturned and smashed at least one plane at the Salem Airport in Arkansas, which is some 150 miles north of Little Rock.

Tornadoes were also reported near Oklahoma City, in southeastern Lincoln, Nebraska, and near Odessa, Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service. One of them spit up a debris cloud 1-and-a-half miles wide. No injuries were immediately reported.

The Nebraska tornadoes were accompanied by large hail — up to 4-and-a-half inches in diameter in Lincoln. Hail larger than 2 inches in diameter was forecast from eastern Texas to southeastern Kansas.

It's all part of a single giant storm system that dropped tornadoes and massive hail from Kansas to Oklahoma and Colorado over the weekend.

At least five people were injured and several buildings were damaged Saturday when a tornado hit the eastern Colorado town of Wray, about 12 miles from the Nebraska border.

The National Weather Service warned that later in the day scattered but sever thunderstorms were likely throughout the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys, and from central and into northern Texas, as well as across parts of the northern and central Plains.