By David Begnaud CBS News May 20, 2019, 6:40 PM Serious storm warnings issued as tornadoes hit Oklahoma and Texas
Chickasha, Okla. — An outbreak of tornadoes started Monday in Texas and Oklahoma, where forecasters were predicting the worst storm in more than two years. More than 150,000 school children were allowed to stay home as a precaution.
Powerful gusts of wind and rain whipped through Afton, Oklahoma, late Monday afternoon. The first tornado of the day reported to the National Weather Service hit just north of Paducah, Texas. In Crescent, Oklahoma, two tornadoes were on the ground just about a mile apart.
The threat in the Southern Plains is so severe, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center issued a rare warning of a "high risk" of severe weather from northwest Texas to central Oklahoma. It's their most serious warning in more than two years.
In Chickasha, Oklahoma, CBS affiliate KWTV storm chaser Hank Brown was out with his wife, Patty Brown. They're also first responders.
"I've been chasing 20 years, 20 years me and my wife Patty have been doing this and we've seen four or five of these setups," Hank Brown said.
More than 50 tornadoes tore through the country's midsection over the weekend. Storm chasers in Minneola, Kansas, captured several large tornadoes forming, and narrowly avoided a funnel passing right in front of their vehicle.
From above, you can see the trail of destruction left behind in Geronimo, Oklahoma, as the rebuilding process there begins.
So far there are no reports of injuries. But Brown and his wife have their medical gear in case they come across someone who is wounded.
The Oklahoma City metro may be facing a particularly dangerous situation. A powerful tornado could form there Monday night, which means 1.4 million people in the area need to be ready to take shelter.