More storms coming as Oklahoma reels from tornadoes, floods

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - As the nation's midsection braces for another bout of severe weather, many residents in Oklahoma are still reeling from a rare combination of tornadoes and flash flooding spawned from the latest round of thunderstorms that rumbled across the state.

Conditions appeared to be ripe on Friday and Saturday for storms that could produce even more powerful tornadoes across an area covering southern Kansas, western Oklahoma and parts of North Texas, said meteorologist John Hart of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman.

Storms that spawned 51 tornadoes in several southern Plains states late Wednesday also brought torrential downpours in central Oklahoma so heavy that a 43-year-old Oklahoma City woman drowned after becoming trapped inside her underground storm cellar.

"It just flooded with her in it, and she couldn't get out because it was like a river coming down on top of her," said police Sgt. Gary Knight. "I don't recall it ever raining like that before."

Skylyna Stewart's body was discovered in an older, underground shelter detached from the home, and Knight and other emergency management officials said such cases are extremely rare.

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More storms coming as Oklahoma reels from tornadoes, floods
Residents survey damage near an elementary school, caused by severe weather, Monday, May 11, 2015, in Van, Texas. About 30 percent of the community was damaged from the storm late Sunday, according to Chuck Allen, fire marshal and emergency management coordinator for Van Zandt County. (AP Photo/Todd Yates)
Crews from T & D Solutions Utility Service Company work around a fallen tree as they and other crew try to restore power to the town of Van, Texas, after it was hit by severe weather Monday, May 11, 2015. Emergency responders searched through splintered wreckage Monday after a line of tornadoes battered several small communities in Texas and Arkansas, killing at least five people. (AP Photos/Todd Yates)
Downed tree and debris from Van, Texas is scattered around the town Monday, May 11, 2015, after severe weather pushed through the area in the early morning hours. Emergency responders searched through splintered wreckage Monday after a line of tornadoes battered several small communities in Texas and Arkansas, killing at least five people. (AP Photos/Todd Yates)
A home along E. Pennsylvania Street in Van, Texas, receive a X after it had been searched by emergency personnel, the home was damaged after severe weather moved through the area Monday, May 11, 2015. Emergency responders searched through splintered wreckage Monday after a line of tornadoes battered several small communities in Texas and Arkansas, killing at least five people. (AP Photos/Todd Yates)
A vehicle in the Van ISD maintenance yard lays on it side after being blow over by severe weather that past through the Van, Texas, area Monday, May 11, 2015. Emergency responders searched through splintered wreckage Monday after a line of tornadoes battered several small communities in Texas and Arkansas, killing at least five people. (AP Photos/Todd Yates)
Heavy equipment clears an area of a storage facility damaged in the storms of Wednesday in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Mismatched shoes are lined up after being salvaged from a ruined recreational vehicle in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Yuki Fukui makes his way through his recreational vehicle, which is laying on it's side due to the Wednesday severe storms, with salvaged items, in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
People search for items in a storage unitt destroyed by the storms of May 6th, in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Analiza DePaulo looks for belongings in a damaged recreational vehicle park in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Items salvaged from a damaged recreational vehicle are piled together in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Carol Bresee carries items to her vehicle from her ruined storage facility in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
People search for items in a storage unit destroyed by the Wednesday storms in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Victims from a 51-twister outbreak across Tornado Alley sifted through rubble Thursday while forecasters issued ominous forecasts for the coming days. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A man watches as an overturned recreational vehicle is pulled upright in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A hotel damaged in the storm of May 6 is pictured in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Authorities are assessing the damage from spring storms that spawned more than a dozen suspected tornadoes in the southern Plains, destroying dozens of homes, causing flooding and forcing the evacuation of Oklahoma City's main airport. At least 12 people were injured but there were no reports of deaths. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
People carry items from recreational vehicles damaged in Wednesday's storm in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Damon Braley holds Sammy, who belongs to Braley's parents, as he looks over the area where his parent's recreational vehicle used to park in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. He said his parents were both taken to the hospital on Wednesday, May 6 after severe weather hit the area, but Sammy was only found today. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Damon Braley holds Sammy, who belongs to Braley's parents, as he looks over the area where his parent's recreational vehicle used to park in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. He said his parents were both taken to the hospital May 6th after severe weather hit the area, but Sammy was only found today. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A tree is moved away from damaged recreational vehicles in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
People look through rubble, Thursday, May 7, 2015, in an area damaged by severe weather a day earlier, in Oklahoma City. Authorities are assessing the damage from spring storms that spawned more than a dozen suspected tornadoes in the southern Plains, destroying dozens of homes, causing flooding and forcing the evacuation of Oklahoma City's main airport. At least 12 people were injured but there were no reports of deaths. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A man looks through the rubble of a storage unit damaged in the Wednesday storm in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Authorities are assessing the damage from spring storms that spawned more than a dozen suspected tornadoes in the southern Plains, destroying dozens of homes, causing flooding and forcing the evacuation of Oklahoma City's main airport. At least 12 people were injured but there were no reports of deaths. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A man walks through an area damaged by severe weather in the Wednesday storm in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Authorities are assessing the damage from spring storms that spawned more than a dozen suspected tornadoes in the southern Plains, destroying dozens of homes, causing flooding and forcing the evacuation of Oklahoma City's main airport. At least 12 people were injured but there were no reports of deaths. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A large tornado passes just to the west of the city of Halstead, Kan., on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Several buildings were destroyed and one person was reported injured. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
A vehicle makes its way through deep water following heavy rain in Moore, Okla., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Forecasters declared a tornado emergency for Moore. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
People carry items from recreational vehicles damaged in Wednesday's storm in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 12 Oklahoma counties hit by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
First responders take a passenger of a truck involved in an accident on Interstate 35 during severe weather to an ambulance, in Moore, Okla., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
First responders work to remove a passenger of a truck involved in an accident on Interstate 35 during severe weather in Moore, Okla., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. I-35 southbound is closed behind the accident. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
First responders work to free a passenger from a truck involved in an accident on Interstate 35 during severe weather in Moore, Okla., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
The driver of a truck which crashed during severe weather on Interstate 35 gestures to his rescuers after being cut from the truck in Moore, Okla., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Forecasters declared a tornado emergency for Moore. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Storms move through the area near Newcastle, Okla., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. A swath of the Great Plains is under a tornado watch Wednesday, including parts of North Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Charmaine Foraker is hugged by her son Harlan, as she and her other son Craig Foracker, second from left, arrive at the scene of the family farmstead near Bentley, Kan., that was destroyed by a tornado on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. The original farmhouse that Charmaine grew up in was destroyed, along with a newer home that Craig and his family lived in. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
BAXTER SPRINGS, KANSAS, TORNADO, USA - APRIL 28, 2014: This is DigitalGlobe satellite imagery of the damage patch from the EF2 TORNADO that hit Baxter Springs Kansas on April 27th, 2014. The satellite image captured on April 28th, 2014. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
Debris scatters the parking lot of The Norman Hotel in Norman, Okla., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. A tornado grazed Oklahoma City and its suburbs Wednesday, threatening rush hour drivers and prompting schools to hold children in safe rooms until the danger passed. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Debris scatters the parking lot of The Norman Hotel in Norman, Okla., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. A tornado grazed Oklahoma City and its suburbs Wednesday, threatening rush hour drivers and prompting schools to hold children in safe rooms until the danger passed. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Video: Tornado near Lincoln, KS taken by @UnruhMatt at ~2:30pm CT May 6, 2015 http://t.co/bZjAE5eSQW #KSwx
#StormChasing #Oklahoma #OklahomaLife #Tornado #NadersDontScareMe
#oklahoma #weather #tornado #kswo #channel9 #cyril
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The 7.1 inches that fell in Oklahoma City was the third highest rainfall for any day on record, dating back to 1890, said state climatologist Gary McManus, and radar data from the southeast part of the city where Skylyna Stewart's body was recovered indicated as much as 8 to 12 inches may have fallen.

"Part of the problem was that we had gotten a lot of rain earlier," McManus said. "The soils were moist, and the rain had nowhere to go."

A few miles away in Moore, Kelly Ruffin said she and her family took shelter from the storms in an underground shelter installed in their garage when water from the heavy rains began leaking in.

"It was a heavy trickle at first, and within about 10 or 15 seconds, it was gushing," Ruffin said. "We had to decide if we were going to stay down there and drown or get out, because the sirens were going off. We decided to get out."

Blake Lee of F5 Storm Shelters & Safe Rooms has been installing shelters in Oklahoma for nearly five years and described the drowning as a "really, really freak deal."

"It was a flash flooding situation, and we got more rain yesterday than we typically get in a month," Lee said. "The underground garage model, to this day I've never heard of anyone dying in them."

Blake said it's not uncommon for an underground shelter to leak, and he encouraged people who have one to check them every few months to make sure they're not filling up with water.

"If you've been doing this long enough, you're going to have shelters that leak. It can happen," he said. "But it's a really easy fix."

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