Several damaging tornados have been observed in central Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). One tornado rolled through central Oklahoma Wednesday evening bringing up to 70 mph winds, rain and golf ball-sized hail.
Authorities said at least two people were killed in the small town of Cole in McClain County and there also were injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to some requiring hospitalization, according to The Associated Press.
Numerous tornadoes have ripped throughout a number of central Oklahoma counties including: Cole, Chickasha, Bridge Creek, Moore and Norman.
A home in Cole, Oklahoma, is damaged following a tornado on Wednesday evening. (@H via Twitter)
The NWS in Tulsa warned residents that the “severe storms with a history of producing damaging tornadoes continue to move slowly east. The highest threat for severe weather in our area will be in Okfuskee and S Creek counties through Midnight.”
The 70 mph winds brought destruction to the small towns in central Oklahoma, tearing off roofs from structures and downing power lines. According to tracking site, PowerOutages.com, at least 18,000 Oklahoma residents are without power as of midnight on Wednesday.
Residents took to social media to share large pieces of hail battering their homes and vehicles. Some reported golf ball-sized hail amid the severe weather.
While much of central Oklahoma was under a tornado warning, a tornado watch was also issued in several adjacent states. Other states impacted by the severe weather include: Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Texas, the National Weather Service said.
The American Red Cross announced several shelters for people affected by tornadoes that hit Oklahoma communities.
The University of Oklahoma in Norman issued a campus emergency due to the storms, telling those on campus to seek shelter immediately.
Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) in Shawnee, Oklahoma, announced that classes would be canceled on Thursday and Friday following the tornados that hit the community.
“OBU classes are canceled Thursday and Friday,” the liberal arts school announced in a Twitter post. “Authorities are advising students to stay in their housing units through the night. Power lines are down in Shawnee and there is significant debris scattered around the city. We will keep you advised as we have more information.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.