The emergency director in Garvin County, Oklahoma, Bud Ramming, said a man believed to be in his late 70s was found dead in Wynnewood, located south of Oklahoma City.
The twister prompted forecasters to issue a “tornado emergency” for communities east of Wynnewood, noting the storm could be particularly violent
Another death was reported in Johnston County, Fox 25 reported.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, had warned that a “substantial tornado risk” could develop in portions of the Southern Plains and Ozarks late Monday.
A series of violent thunderstorms dropped tornadoes near Oklahoma City and in the rolling hills south of the capital.
“You are in a life-threatening situation,” forecasters declared when they declared a tornado emergency for Roff, population 725, and Hickory, population 71. “Flying debris will be deadly to those caught without shelter.”
Television images showed at least three homes destroyed, multiple overturned vehicles and trees torn limb to limb. A roof lay near a hay barn after the first tornado reports from near Wynnewood along Interstate 35.
Dana Lance was driving through the Pontotoc County community of Roff on her way home from work Monday when the skies grew ominous, and she heard tornado sirens and forecasters on the radio urging people in the area to take cover.
“I parked and went into the school, which has a safe room,” Lance said. “There were kids and elderly people, dogs and cats, babies. It was like the whole town was there.”
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol closed five miles of the main roadway between Oklahoma City and Dallas as the storm approached. It opened about 15 minutes later.
The National Weather Service says a tornado that swept through southern Nebraska caused some damage to a rural high school.
Cindy Fay, with the National Weather Service in Hastings, says there were three confirmed tornadoes that touched down Monday afternoon near the cities of Fairfield and Clay Center.
Sandra Nejezchleb, the ambulance captain at the Fairfield Fire Department, says no students were injured at Sandy Creek High School in rural Fairfield, but windows of school vans and other vehicles were busted out in the parking lot, there was damage to a school porch awning and an irrigation pivot overturned about a mile south.
Meteorologists said twisters with wind speeds above 111 mph were possible from eastern Oklahoma to central Arkansas. Hail 2 inches or more in diameter is possible from eastern Texas to southeastern Kansas.
About 41 million people from Houston to Sioux City, Iowa, are at risk for some type of stormy weather.
While the threat was less farther north, forecasters issued a tornado warning for a storm near Lincoln, Nebraska. (Courtesy Fox News)