Oklahoma Declares State of Emergency as Flooding, Severe Storms are Feared in Parts of U.S.

Oklahoma declared a state of emergency in a dozen counties Thursday as the state and several others recovered from severe storms.

Heavy winds and dangerous amounts of rain have pounded Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas as well. The rain continued to fall Thursday, pushing some rivers and creeks up to or over their banks.

The storms and flooding “have caused extensive damage to public and private properties,” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said in issuing an emergency declaration for 12 counties. The weather “threatens the lives and property of the people of this state and the public’s peace, health and safety.”

The counties are Alfalfa, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Dewey, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Major, McClain and Oklahoma. At least 30 people were reported injured in the storms, the state Department of Health said.

The good news: A second day of tornadoes appears unlikely, with the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center forecasting only a slight chance of powerful thunderstorms in the Great Plains and parts of Texas, including the Dallas area.

Hail in Cookietown

Severe thunderstorm watches came and went in the early morning in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. The weather service’s Norman, Oklahoma, office reported a severe storm before dawn in the community of Cookietown with “hail the size of golf balls and very heavy rainfall.”

Heavy rain in the spring in this part of the United States is hardly an anomaly. Nor is the flooding that often accompanies it.

Still, that doesn’t make it any less of a serious challenge.

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