Deadly Tornadoes Rake Through Midwest States

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A new wave of powerful tornadoes killed at least 14 Midwest residents Wednesday, marking day two of deadly storms that've ripped through the country, from Colorado to Virginia.

In Oklahoma, homes were turned into rubble and lives were turned upside down.

"We had the house here, a three car garage -- two stories with a garage apartments -- a silo, another house.  My wife's car - a new car - was in the garage. It's in the tree," El Reno resident Tom Chronister said.

Click play to watch an updated report with CBN News Senior Editor John Waage.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in at least 14 counties including Adair, Blaine, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Kiowa, Mayes, Muskogee, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Rogers and Wagoner.

"Unfortunately, this event will likely continue for some time," Fallin said. "I am asking all Oklahomans to stay aware of the weather and to take proper precautions to keep themselves out of harm's way."

At least seven tornadoes were reported in central Kansas alone.

Funnel clouds also overshadowed parts of the city of Dallas.  The storms forced an evacuation at a Rangers game in nearby Arlington.

Meanwhile, residents in Joplin, Mo., who were spared in the latest round of twisters, are still in shock over the devastation from Sunday's deadly twister. At least 125 people were killed, 750 were injured and 1,500 are still missing.

"Seeing this right now, I'm in shock. It doesn't even look the same," resident Bailey Knight said. 

According to the National Weather Service, the half-mile wide funnel was an EF5, the strongest rating assigned to tornadoes, with winds of more than 200 mph.

The tornado is now ranked as the single deadliest since modern record-keeping began in 1950. It surpasses the June 8, 1953, tornado that claimed 116 lives in Flint, Mich. 

Family members picked through the wreckage Wednesday, desperate to find their loved-ones.

"I heard her scream, and then right after she screamed, that's when the whole thing collapsed on us. That was the end of it," said Joplin resident Stephen Campbell, who is searching for his missing wife.

A 12-year-boy is also among the missing.

"He was last seen in the bathtub," a family friend said. "We have not been able to locate the bathtub, so we're out trying to find any information of where he might be at, or see if we can find him in the debris."

At least nine people have been rescued since Monday.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Joplin, Sunday, after returning from his trip to Europe.

The president said Tuesday he wants Midwesterners whose lives were upended by the deadly storms last weekend to know that the federal government will use all the resources at its disposal to help them recover and rebuild.

"I want everybody in Joplin, everybody in Missouri, everybody in Minnesota, everybody across the Midwest to know that we are here for you," the president said in London while on day two of his four-country tour.

"The American people are by your side. We're going to stay there until every home is repaired, until every neighborhood is rebuilt, until every business is back on its feet," he added.

The month of May marks the ninth deadliest year on record for tornadoes, and the year is only half over.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at