Severe Weather Tracker 5/21

By: News 12 Email
By: News 12 Email

4:30 PM -- Central and North Texas under tornado watch into evening hours

DALLAS (AP) - The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Central and North Texas.

The advisory Tuesday could be expanded to include East Texas as a storm system moves east across the state. Severe thunderstorms are anticipated in some areas.

The weather service has issued the tornado watch until 7 p.m. local time.

A layer of warm air over North Texas had limited storm development over the past two days. But that's expected to dissipate, allowing storms and isolated tornadoes to develop. Storms have raged along the edges of the warm-air cap.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reported a tornado yesterday in Blanket, a town of about 400 residents some 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

4:18 PM -- Harrison St. underpass has been reopened after flooding earlier

4:05 PM -- Tom Bean ISD: The awards ceremony at the HIGH SCHOOL and the Volleyball meeting scheduled for tonight is canceled because of electricity being out. We will reschedule it ASAP.

4:00 PM -- NBA, NBPA pledge $1M to tornado relief
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NEW YORK (AP) - The NBA and the players' union are combining to donate $1 million to tornado relief efforts in the Oklahoma City area.

The league and the NBPA announced the joint pledge on Tuesday. The money will be going to the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other disaster relief efforts after a tornado devastated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday.

The donation follows $1 million pledges from the Oklahoma City Thunder and star forward Kevin Durant.

Durant says seeing the devastation in his adopted hometown was "tough to watch." But he also believes the community will band together to get through such a difficult time.

The Red Cross is accepting $10 pledges from people who text "REDCROSS" to 90999. People can also donate at the organization's website.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

3:47 PM -- Walmart pledges $1M for Moore tornado recovery

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Walmart says it is pledging $1 million for the recovery from the tornado that devastated Moore.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based company said Tuesday that it will make donations of cash and materials equal to $1 million.

Walmart is also sending truckloads of food, water and other basic items to serve as immediate aid.

The world's largest retailer says no customers or employees were injured in its two stores in Moore. But the company says some workers' homes were destroyed and that it is still checking on the needs of its employees.

The company is sending workers from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas to the affected areas so members of Oklahoma crews can be with their families.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

3:45 PM -- The Coal County Emergency Management office tells us Highway 31 at Keel Creek near Cairo is shut down and both highway 31 west of Coalgate and highway 48 have high water in several locations.

These highways aren't closed but drivers are urged to use caution.

Several Coal County roads are experiencing flooding as well.

The Johnston County Emergency Management is telling us that Morrow Road near Phifer Circle is completely washed out and county officials are working to repair it.

3:41 PM -- Oncor reporting power outages across North Texas include: 47 in Sherman, 55 in Van Alstyne, and 28 in Pottsboro

3:18 PM -- Okla. Highway Patrol sets perimeter around Moore

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says it has set up a perimeter around Moore to keep out people who don't belong there.

The agency said Wednesday that there are 68 points around the city where troopers are set up.

OHP spokesman Capt. George Brown says only authorized emergency vehicles and people operating authorized equipment are allowed in the devastated area.

Brown says the security will remain in place overnight and that troopers will be on 24-hour shifts until further notice.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

3:15 PM -- Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for Lamar County until 4:15 PM

3:14 PM -- Tom Bean ISD: School out regular time, school phones not working, kids ok, no electricity at school

3:13 PM -- Oklahoma twister a top-of-the-scale EF-5

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., was a top-of-the-scale EF-5 twister with winds of at least 200 mph.

Spokeswoman Keli Pirtle said Tuesday the agency upgraded the tornado from an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale to an EF-5 based on what a damage assessment team saw on the ground. The weather service uses the word "incredible" to describe the power of EF-5 storms.

The weather service says the tornado's path was 17 miles long and 1.3 miles wide.

Pirtle says Monday's twister is the first EF-5 tornado of 2013.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

3:05 PM -- Whitewright ISD Academic Banquet cancelled due to power loss

3:00 PM -- OG & E is reporting 3273 customers with out power in Ardmore 637 in Durant. To check you can go to http://public.oge.com/systemwatch/

3:00 PM -- Harrison St. railroad underpass is being blocked due to flooding in Sherman

2:40 PM -- No new funds needed for Okla. tornado recovery

WASHINGTON (AP) - Top lawmakers and officials say the federal government has plenty of money on hand to pay for recovery efforts in the devastating tornado that struck Oklahoma.

The government has more than $11 billion in its main disaster relief fund. Recovery costs in Moore, Okla., are expected to be a relatively small fraction of that amount. The devastating 2011 tornado that wiped out much of Joplin, Mo., use up about $750 million in federal disaster aid.

White House press secretary Jay Carney and top lawmakers on Capitol Hill all agreed Tuesday that there's no immediate need for additional disaster aid.

Reforms put in place in 2011 gave the Federal Emergency Management Agency a more predictable stream of disaster aid. FEMA also got additional funding from January's Superstorm Sandy relief bill.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

2:20 PM -- Road's closed due to FLOODING in Pushmataha and Atoka Counties. Road's closed include: SH 131 between US 69 and Wardville, 271 between Talihina and Tushkahoma.

2:16 PM -- Paris ISD announces that it is releasing student 30 minutes early.

2:15 PM -- FLOOD WARNINGS for Atoka, Bryan, and Pushmataha County are in effect until further notice.


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