The above screen grab was captured from KHOU’s helicopter.
Update #3: It’s official. Last night’s El Reno, Oklahoma Tornado has been rated an EF-3 by the NWS.
Update #2: It has been reported that almost thirty people have been hurt because of the Tornado.
Update: The Norman NWS is continuing to survey the Tornado damage in El Reno, Oklahoma. They confirm the Tornado was at least an EF-2
Original Post: A “likely” Tornado has killed at least two people as it destroyed a roadside hotel, swept through a mobile park and caused significant damage in the area, officials have said.
El Reno, Oklahoma mayor Matt White said during a press conference that “there have been two fatalities at this point,” adding that officials are working to let relatives know.
White said search and rescue efforts are continuing – even when we’re writing this.
National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Rick Smith told The Associated Press that the likely Tornado hit last night as a significant storm swept through the state. Survey crews are expected on scene to determine the severity of the damage to the town.
The roadside hotel, American Budget Value Inn was destroyed by the Tornado. Photos that emerged shortly after the event showed emergency crews going through rubble after an element of the roadside hotel’s second story collapsed into a pie of debris – scattered about the first floor and parking area.
Mobile homes at the Skyview Estates adjacent to the roadside hotel suffered significant damage, as was a part of a car dealership which is nearby.
During the press conference, the El Reno mayor said the town had “experienced traumatic event”. White said several people were transported to hospitals in Oklahoma City.
We’re going to leave this post here, we highly recommend you read khou’s article on the Tornado which includes survivor stories – click here.