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National Weather Service issues tornado warnings, cautions of additional flooding

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OKLAHOMA CITY — A series of tornadoes was reported across eastern Oklahoma Monday according to the National Weather Service, whose forecasters warned the state to brace for flooding and more severe weather overnight.

Meteorologist Joe Sellers with the Tulsa office said an unknown number of tornadoes were reported in three southeast and east-central Oklahoma counties. The Oklahoma tornado warnings had ended by Monday evening.

Spokeswoman Keli Cain with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said Monday evening no fatalities had been reported and that there was one person who suffered unspecified injures from storms in Atoka County. She said winds damaged an unclear number of homes in Atoka, Le Flore and Bryan counties.

The damage follows a series of storms that left a firefighter and a woman dead over the weekend. Cain said first responders had worked a handful of water rescues across the state and that a number of highways remained closed due to flooding.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent said responders rescued 10 adults and 3 children from a cabin near the Mountain Fork River in McCurtain County. He said the campers were never in immediate danger, and none were injured but that access to the cabin had been blocked by water.

Vincent said he hadn't received any reports of serious injuries from tornadoes as of 5:30 p.m.

Meteorologist Scott Curl with the National Weather Service in Norman said up to 2 inches of additional rainfall is possible across the southern part of the state and that rain is predicted across much of the state nearly every day for the rest of the week. Oklahoma creeks, lakes and rivers continue to be swollen from record downpours.

Oklahoma City set a record Saturday for most rain in any month in recorded history. The metro has received 18.69 inches so far this month, which easily eclipsed the previous 14.66-inch high set in June 1989.

Most of southern Oklahoma has received between about 15 and 20 inches of rain during the past 30 days.

Predictions of severe weather have first responders ready for additional calls. Cain said communities across the state have requested sandbags to combat further flooding and that flooding and road damage has isolated some rural neighborhoods.

"The last thing people in this situation need are tornadoes or any worse weather," Cain said. "With the ground saturated the way it is any rain is going to be a problem."

Cain advised people in low lying areas to seek higher ground ahead if high waters are projected and for drivers in flash flooding areas to stay off of the roads.

"Coming into this situation we have so many roads damaged and so many are at the point where they're about to be damaged you really don't want to be driving into flooded roads at this point," Cain said.


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