Severe storms tore through the Midwest on Wednesday, bringing tornadoes, flooding and heavy winds to parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
There were reports of tornado damage southwest of Oklahoma City, Capt. Paul Timmons of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. A semitruck blew over in the storm, he said, and low visibility was making it difficult to reach the hardest hit areas.
“There’s debris just everywhere, and there’s a lot of water on the roadways,” he told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
A photo from CNN affiliate KFOR showed a storm ripped off parts of an exterior wall of The Norman Hotel in Norman, Oklahoma, leaving the parking lot filled with insulation and debris. The front desk clerk said she called guests as the storm approached and moved them into a storm shelter.
Jeff Theis, who shot video of a dark funnel cloud near Hardy, Nebraska, said he saw a tornado destroy a farm in the community. Hardy is near the state line with Kansas.
Weather spotters reported seeing tornadoes in central Oklahoma near the town of Amber, and in Kansas northeast of the town of Lincoln, according to the National Weather Service.
In Bridge Creek, Oklahoma, about 30 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, forecasters warned residents to take cover as the Weather Service issued a tornado emergency and said a large, destructive twister was in the area.
At Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, officials said they were evacuating passengers and employees to a pedestrian tunnel.
“We are seeing some pretty ominous-looking skies,” CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray said.
The storms are part of a larger system going through Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, Gray said, with the possibility of gusting winds, damaging hail and tornadoes.