Courtesy Serena Wesley NewboldBy MARK OSBORNE and WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — An outbreak of reported tornadoes across Oklahoma and Texas on Wednesday night has killed at least five people.
An official with Marshall County Emergency Management confirms that at least two people were killed and several others injured when a tornado struck in Madill, Oklahoma. It hit as people were getting off of work in two manufacturing facilities and were in cars. He could not confirm if the two dead were in cars or in buildings.
There are at least three people dead in Polk County, Texas, following severe weather Wednesday. The hardest hit area was in Onalaska, Texas.
At this time, search and rescue is ongoing, and Polk County Emergency Management officials said there are at least 20-30 injuries.
Video showed a massive tornado in Madill, flinging sheet metal and debris into the air Wednesday afternoon.
Madill is in far southern Oklahoma, about 10 miles from the Texas border.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed there was tornado damage in Polk County, in eastern Texas. There was a “large and extremely dangerous” tornado near Sebastopol at about 5:45 p.m. local time, according to the National Weather Service.
“My office, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, and other state agencies are working with local officials to provide immediate support to the areas devastated by this tornado,” Abbott said in a statement. “The state has already deployed response teams and medical resources to help Texans in need and to provide assistance to these communities. Our hearts are with our fellow Texans tonight and the state will continue to do everything it can to support those affected by this severe weather.”
Polk County issued a disaster declaration, saying there has been significant damage to residential and commercial structures, and to public infrastructure.
There was also a confirmed tornado on the ground in Jasper, Texas, near the Louisiana border.
Officials in Louisiana said a man died after getting caught in floodwaters.
Deputy Mark Pierce, a spokesman for DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, told ABC News a male victim somehow got caught in a drain/ditch and was swept away by floodwater in Mansfield, Louisiana.
“Mansfield PD received a call in reference to an individual that was seen trying to get a trash can from some flooded water,” Sheriff Jayson Richardson told ABC affiliate KTBS-TV. “He ended up getting swept into that water. We, ultimately, found him 50 to 60 yards downstream.”
As of 7 a.m. Eastern time Thursday, there had been 24 tornadoes reported across Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Louisiana.
There are still tornado watches in effect until 2 p.m. for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
At least 34 people were killed in an outbreak of tornadoes earlier this month in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.
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