'Not a day to mess around' as Texas, Oklahoma face tornado threat

By Alex Dobuzinskis (Reuters) - Some 6 million people across a broad swath of Texas and Oklahoma were bracing for possible tornadoes on Monday, as the U.S.

Reuters May 21, 2019 03:06:12 IST
'Not a day to mess around' as Texas, Oklahoma face tornado threat

Not a day to mess around as Texas Oklahoma face tornado threat

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) - Some 6 million people across a broad swath of Texas and Oklahoma were bracing for possible tornadoes on Monday, as the U.S. National Weather service warned the risk of twisters in the region was at the highest level they had seen in years.

The area under threat stretched across 400 miles (644 km) from Stillwater, Oklahoma, in the north to Snyder, Texas, at the southern end. It could see extreme weather also including thunderstorms and possible flash flooding, said meteorologist Bob Oravec of the federal Weather Prediction Center.

The first tornado of the day touched down on Monday afternoon in a rural area near Paducah, Texas, a community 200 miles northwest of Fort Worth, said Patrick Marsh, a warning coordination meteorologist at the federal Storm Prediction Center.

It was not immediately clear if the twister caused any injuries.

The last time any part of the United States had seen a risk of tornado activity this elevated was in 2012, Marsh said.

He advised people in the region to have a plan for seeking shelter if a storm approaches.

"Today is not a day to mess around," said Marsh, who brought his own family to work with him at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, because it has a shelter.

The Oklahoma City public school system and the University of Oklahoma in Norman were shut down because of the dangerous weather.

East of Oklahoma City, military officials instituted a liberal leave policy at Tinker Air Force Base, allowing many employees to stay home, according to the base's Twitter page.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Scott Malone, Nick Zieminski and Chris Reese)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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