Tornadoes sweep across heartland leaving 5 dead, including infant, and dozens injured

A pair of tornadoes take a destructive path through northern Oklahoma farmyards near Cherokee

Authorities confirmed on Sunday that a four-month-old baby was among two people killed in Oklahoma, in the wake of severe storms and multiple tornadoes that spread across four states. The Oklahoma tornadoes Saturday night were the latest in a series of tornadoes that have battered the Midwest beginning last week and into the weekend.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, at least 30 people were injured and one remains unaccounted for as authorities continued a search and rescue mission Sunday. Emergency officials in Hughes County, Oklahoma, said the baby was one of two people killed in storms that struck Holdenville.

Sunday marked the third day of the severe weather outbreak across the heartland states, with more than 22 million people under threat of violent storms in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. A powerful pair of twisters that touched down in Nebraska, officials said. Twenty-seven million people remain at risk of severe weather into Sunday, including wind gusts, hail, flood risk and potentially more tornadoes.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement Sunday: “My prayers are with those who lost loved ones as tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma last night. Thank you to Oklahoma Emergency Management and those who have worked through the night to keep Oklahomans safe and have worked to clear debris and assess damage.”  Stitt declared a state of emergency in a dozen counties.

A destructive tornado also hit Sulfur, Oklahoma, in Murray County, destroying buildings and scattering debris for miles with at least four other people injured in the area.  Tornadoes were also reported Saturday across Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Nebraska, officials said, and according to the National Weather Service there were nearly 120 tornado reports in the last two days.

Editorial credit: Eugene R Thieszen /