Deadly Tornadoes Rip Through Oklahoma

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Tornadoes in Oklahoma killed at least five people and left dozens injured Monday evening.

Clean-up efforts began Tuesday morning as well as efforts from local utilities to restore power to more than 60,000 people.

One of the most dramatic storms was a multi-vortex tornado that dropped down out of the storm system just north of Oklahoma City.

"Yes, it sounded just like a freight train rolling by the house," one eyewitness said. "It ripped the garage door right off the side of the house there and I knew it was gone when it was just bright daylight outside."

Click play for an update with CBN News Reporter Mark Martin.

In Oklahoma County, nearly 80 people were inside a Love's Country store when the tornado sirens sounded. A giant twister touched down just outside. Employees were able to quickly move customers inside a giant walk-in refrigerator.

"The three of us were kind of like trapped in there holding the door shut praying to God that we don't die and that everybody else is safe," said store employee Charlescie Greenway.

After the tornado passed, there was little left of the store. But all of the people huddled down inside the refrigerator walked out alive.

A nearby truck stop fared no better with semis tossed onto their sides.

"Trucks went to rocking, there's one truck shoved against another truck in the back, and the next thing we know the roof was gone," said truck driver Sammy Ward.

Video of the area from local news helicopters showed the extent of widespread destruction.

One twister demolished a marina on a nearby lake, tossing boats and facilities everywhere. It also destroyed the training room near a school's football field. High winds flipped cars and trucks and brought down a radio tower.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said nearly 40 homes and businesses were heavily damaged and another 50 were destroyed.

"And hopefully by morning or soon after we'll have the complete search done and hopefully we won't find any more fatalities or significant injuries," Cornett said.

Many residents were prepared for the bad weather. Local broadcasters dedicated the entire day to storm coverage. Such early warning has been credited with helping to save more lives and may have also prevented more widespread injuries.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.