Two Dead, Dozens Injured In Atoka County Twisters

photo by NewsChannel 8 storm chaser Jon Haverfield

Atoka County officials confirm at least two people have died and more than two dozen are injured after a series of tornadoes struck the area Thursday evening.NewsChannel 8 storm chaser Jon Haverfield first reported a large stovepipe tornado on the ground at 7:20 p.m. Over the next three hours, several additional tornadic storms raked the area.The hardest hit area appears to be the town of Tushka, just south of Atoka, about 125 miles south of Tulsa. The town of only a few hundred people suffered both fatalities and its school was heavily damaged.To make matters worse, additional severe thunderstorms hampered rescue efforts.People have been trapped in their homes, power lines are down and the work is continuing to survey the damage.Members from the Tulsa Red Cross will be heading to southeastern Oklahoma to assist with the recovery effort. They will be working with area emergency management and other emergency responders to assess damage and needs.The Red Cross is opening a shelter for people displaced by the storms and it will be open by 11:30 p.m. Thursday night at First Baptist Church at 123 N. Delaware Avenue in Atoka.At least four tornadoes are said to have touched down in Atoka County Thursday night.We will have more on this developing story as additional details become available.

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