The high-voltage thunderstorms arrived as forecast on Tuesday night, May 24, and early Wednesday, May 25, just days after a massive tornado tore through the southwest Missouri town of Joplin and killed 122 people.
The violent tornadoes swept off the three states by killing at least five people and injuring at least 60 others, including three children who were in critical condition, authorities said.
At Chickasha, 25 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, a 26-year-old woman died when a tornado hit a mobile home park where residents had been asked to evacuate their trailers, Assistant Police Chief Elip Moore said. He said a dozen people were injured and that hundreds were displaced when the storm splintered their homes.
In Kansas, police said two people died when high winds threw a tree into their van around 6 p.m. near the small town of St. John, about 100 miles west of Wichita. The highway was shut down because of storm damages.
The line of storms began about 3 p.m. in Oklahoma and followed tracks greater than 40 miles into the state's capital city before continuing on toward Tulsa. Oklahoma state offices and many businesses let workers leave hours earlier to get out of harm's way.
The storms also blew through North Texas, but the damage seemed to be confined to roofs and trees and lawn furniture and play equipments.