Oklahoma town devastated as massive tornado outbreak moved across Central US

Extensive damage was reported in Sulphur as the tornado wiped out much of its downtown.
This image taken from video provided by KOCO shows damage caused by a tornado in Sulphur, Oklahoma, Sunday, April 28, 2024.
Posted at 9:06 AM, Apr 29, 2024

The U.S. is likely coming off its largest tornado outbreak to date in 2024 after 130 unconfirmed twisters touched down across the Central U.S. from Friday through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service is in the process of confirming the exact number of tornadoes and their intensity. The tornadoes were deadly, as four people died as a result of the weekend's storms in Oklahoma. A fatality was also reported in Iowa.

The outbreak began Friday as multiple supercells developed in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. The National Weather Service reported dozens of possible twisters in the area. The storms kept the Omaha branch of the National Weather Service busy as the office issued 41 separate tornado warnings Friday night.

By Saturday, the worst of the storms moved south. Oklahoma had numerous sighted tornadoes, including one that struck the town of Sulphur. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a state of emergency in 14 counties.

"Definitely the most damage since I've been governor," Stitt said in Sulphur on Sunday. "It's unbelievable."

While Sulphur's downtown had extensive damage and one reported fatality, nearby Holdenville, Oklahoma, reported two deaths, including an infant.

"I could see with the lightning flashes the actual rotation up in the clouds, so I could see how big it was," said resident Melissa Marquart. "It looked like a pretty decent sized storm."

Thankfully for residents of the Central U.S., Monday is expected to bring mostly calm conditions. Severe storms, however, could return by Tuesday.