Death toll from Oklahoma storm rises

tornado

OKLAHOMA CITY — The death toll from the weekend tornadoes and storms in Oklahoma is now at 16, Oklahoma City’s fire chief said early Monday morning.

At least six people remain missing, Fire Chief Keith Bryant said.

Authorities will resume their search Monday for six people still missing, including four who sought shelter in storm drains, Bryant said.

The storms left not only a trail of death and destruction — it also sent floodwaters surging. And the damage wasn’t confined to Oklahoma.

The flash flooding that accompanied Friday night’s storm swept some bodies up to five miles downstream, Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Chief Marc Woodard said.

Two parents and a young child who sought refuge in a storm drain were among those killed.

Samuel Cifuentes, his wife, Florinda Santos, and their 5-year-old son, Alex Cifuentes, died in the Oklahoma storm, said Byron Cifuentes, Samuel’s brother.

Officials had been searching for the three family members in a storm drain after the family had sought shelter from the storm on Friday. Oklahoma City officials were not able to confirm the identities or where the three bodies were recovered.

On Friday, in Missouri, a twister left over 10 miles of significant damage “that caused dozens and dozens of houses to be literally blown up,” Gov. Jay Nixon told CNN affiliate KSDK.

No one was killed in that tornado, but three people drowned in Missouri, Nixon said.

And in Arkansas, flooding killed at least four people — a sheriff’s deputy, a wildlife officer and two women they were trying to save from a deluged home, officials said. The house collapsed in the middle of the rescue attempt, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman Keith Stephens said.

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