Midwest Storm Survivor: 'Total Destruction Out Here'

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Another deadly rash of tornadoes tore through the Midwest this weekend, killing six people, including three children, and destroying scores of homes.

Twin tornadoes in Cherokee, Okla., were among at least 75 twisters that ravaged the state, along with Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.

"Suddenly, we heard all this loud noise, and I said let's get out of here," Dianne Huffman, a storm survivor, recalled.

Woodward, Okla., in the northwest part of the state took a direct hit. The tornado that tore through the community took the lives of five people, including a father and his two daughters.

The twister destroyed 89 homes and 13 businesses in the town. Warning sirens failed to sound after lightning took out the system.

"I'm shocked," another survivor said. "I'm shocked that there's even anything left. I mean it's just total destruction out here."

Neighbors continue to clean up while crews search for survivors. Trucks carrying food, water, cots, and other supplies are headed to the area where more than 8,000 residents are without power.

"Very, very scary," is how another tornado survivor described the storm.

"First time we've ever been through anything like that. So, very scary," the survivor said.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin toured the damage in Woodward.

"It's been encouraging to me to be here in Woodward to see just the immediate response by so many great Oklahomans and just how people help their fellow neighbors," Fallin said.

In Iowa, a tornado struck a hospital, but miraculously, everyone in its path survived.

Damages from the storm system are likely to run into the tens of millions of dollars. To help put that into perspective, Kansas, on average, has about 55 tornadoes in a year.  This weekend alone residents in the state experienced nearly a hundred.

Forecasters say the storms were caused by a cold front moving to the east colliding with warmer, moister air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico.     

The storm system grew so high, causing tornadoes to pop up faster than they could be counted.

The system was so strong the National Weather Service made the unusual decision to warn people more than 24 hours in advance.

Related Link:

National Weather Service

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