Watch: Multiple tornadoes touch down in Oklahoma

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CBS / AP

Posted on May 19, 2013 at 11:48 PM

Updated Monday, May 20 at 8:05 AM

(CBS News) -- Authorities say a tornado that severely damaged a mobile home park southeast of Oklahoma City killed a 79-year-old man whose body was found in an open area of the neighborhood.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth also said that six people who lived in the mobile home park were injured. Between 30 and 35 homes had significant damage, and number of frame homes in the neighborhood also sustained damage.

For days, forecasters had been warning about the possibility of tornadoes from a weekend storm, and emergency responders as far north as Minnesota and as far south as Texas were keeping a close eye on the powerful system pushing eastward and northward through the nation's breadbasket.

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Forecasters say a supercell of thunderstorms packing baseball-sized hail, heavy rain, and tornadoes could do a lot of damage, CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reports.

CBS News meteorologist Jeff Berardelli reports the greatest risk is across Oklahoma, Kansas and into parts of Missouri. Watches and warnings are ongoing.

"I knew it was coming," said Randy Grau, who huddled with his wife and two young boys in their Edmond's home's safe room when the tornado hit. He said he peered out his window as the weather worsened and believed he saw a flock of birds heading down the street.

"Then I realized it was swirling debris. That's when we shut the door of the safe room, said Grau, adding that they sheltered in the room for 10 minutes.

In Wichita, Kan., a tornado touched down near Mid-Content Airport on the city's southwest side shortly before 4 p.m., knocking out power to 7,500 homes and businesses but bypassing the most populated areas of Kansas' biggest city.

"At this point, there are very few reports of damage and no reports of fatalities or injuries, and we're very grateful for that," said Sedgwick County Emergency Management Director Randy Duncan.

In Oklahoma, aerial television news footage showed homes that appeared to have suffered significant damage northeast of Oklahoma City. Some outbuildings appeared to have been leveled, and some homes' roofs or walls had been knocked down.

"When I first drove into the neighborhood, I didn't see any major damage until I pulled into the front of my house," said Csabe Mathe, of Edmond, who found a part of his neighbor's fence in his swimming pool. "My reaction was: I hope insurance pays for the cleaning."

"I typically have two trash cans, and now I have five in my driveway."

The Storm Prediction Center had been warning about severe weather in the region since Wednesday, and on Friday, it zeroed in on Sunday as the day the storm system would likely pass through.

"They've been calling for this all day," Edmond resident Anita Wright said after riding out the twister in an underground shelter. She and her husband Ed emerged from their hiding place to find uprooted trees, downed limbs and damaged gutters in their home.

In Katie Leathers' backyard, the family's trampoline was tossed through a section of fence and a giant tree uprooted.

"I saw all the trees waving, and that's when I grabbed everyone and got into two closets," Leathers said. "All these trees just snapped."

One Texas family is still digging out from a tornado that touched down near their Granbury home last week, Werner reports.

Wednesday night, as the tornado swirled around the house, Bobi Parsons huddled in a bathtub with her 16-year-old son and her husband Eddie, as an older son took cover with a friend in the bathroom next door.

When they emerged, the only thing left standing was the two bathrooms. The rest of the house was gone.

"I broke down because you know, I looked around and it was just amazing that, you know, all of this, this wiring and no electricity fell and hit my kids," Bobi's husband, Eddie, told Werner. "They were okay, you know. It was amazing. Just to see that god put his arms around these two walls, you know, and saved -- I mean He kept us safe."

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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