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Tornado cleanup goes on as storms move toward East Coast

June 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A violent weather system that killed 13 people in Oklahoma and Arkansas gave way to clearing skies, as the storms trekked toward the East Coast on Sunday.

Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Amy Elliott said on Sunday that officials received another body Saturday night, increasing the death toll to 10 after a tornado descended on an Oklahoma City interstate Friday night, mangling billboards and flipping cars and tractor-trailers along a road clogged with rush-hour motorists leaving work or fleeing the storm. Also, flash floods in Arkansas killed three people on Friday, including a sheriff attempting a water rescue.

Most of the damage from Friday night's storm was concentrated a few miles north of Moore, the Oklahoma City suburb that was struck by an EF5 tornado on May 20, killing 24 people. The weather system is now heading toward the densely populated Northeast.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman predicted a slight chance of severe weather in the Northeast on Sunday, mainly from the Washington, D.C., area to northern Maine. Hail and high winds were the chief threat, though a tornado could not be ruled out, forecasters said.

Friday's victims included a mother and a baby sucked out of their car as the EF3 hit near El Reno. A 4-year-old boy died after being swept into the Oklahoma River on the south side of Oklahoma City, said Oklahoma City police Lt. Jay Barnett. The boy and other family members had sought shelter in a drainage ditch.

More than 100 people were injured by swirling debris, most with puncture wounds and lacerations, authorities said.

A total of five tornadoes struck the Oklahoma City metro area, the National Weather Service said.

The violent weather also struck Missouri. Areas west of St. Louis received significant damage from an EF3 tornado Friday night that packed estimated winds of 150 mph. In St. Charles County, at least 71 homes were heavily damaged and 100 had slight to moderate damage, county spokeswoman Colene McEntee said.

Tens of thousands were without power, and only eight minor injuries were reported. Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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