DALLAS (AP) – A spate of tornadoes raked across the Southern Plains, leaving damage and causing few injuries, and parts of the region were bracing for more severe thunderstorms and possible flooding.
Tornadoes touched down Friday in Kansas and rural parts of Nebraska, tearing up trees and powerlines, and damaging some homes and farm buildings, according to the National Weather Service. More twisters destroyed at least two homes and left one person with minor injuries in southwestern Oklahoma early Saturday, KWTV television reports.
A suspected tornado caused roof damage to “numerous” homes in northwestern Arkansas, a state official said, and severe winds downed trees and power lines across a highway, blocking all lanes.
In Abilene, Texas, a city 150 miles (240 kilometers) west of Fort Worth, strong winds prompted the evacuation of a nursing home and left numerous homes and businesses damaged, according to the Abilene Reporter-News . A spokeswoman for the city said no deaths or serious injuries were reported.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch until 8 p.m. Saturday for the western half of Arkansas. Portions of North Texas were under a tornado watch until 5 p.m. and a flash flood warning was issued in the Dallas area until 4:45 p.m.
Forecasters warned of heavy rain, lightning, pingpong ball-sized hail and flooding as a line of storms moves west to east through afternoon, covering an area from south of Killeen, Texas, to north of the Oklahoma state line.
In Oklahoma City, thunderstorms prevented workers from securing and removing glass from Devon Tower, which was damaged Wednesday when a scaffolding holding two window washers banged against the building, The Oklahoman reported. Officials said the rain and winds blew broken glass from the tower and compromised the integrity of other panes.
Fire officials in Comanche County, Oklahoma said that two people escaped from a home destroyed by a tornado without injury Saturday, and another person was taken to a hospital as a precaution.