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Tornadoes Touch Down in Central Oklahoma

A powerful storm system spawned at least two tornadoes and numerous severe thunderstorms, causing damage in central and northeastern areas of the state Monday, authorities said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries with the twisters, which were part of a powerful storm system that tracked through region.

West of Oklahoma City, two tornadoes tore through sparsely populated areas of Canadian County, damaging hangars at the municipal airport south of El Reno around 7:30 p.m.

Television footage showed debris from the buildings being lifted and flung about as the tornado moved overhead. Parts of the hangars' roofs were ripped away and a couple of airplanes were moved outside.

Damage from the storms, which formed near U.S. Highway 81 and Interstate 40 about 40 miles west of Oklahoma City, appeared to be isolated, Lt. Stewart Meyer, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman said.

A number of vehicles traveling on I-40 stopped as the tornadoes, creating congestion on the highway, Meyer said.

"We're asking people if the weather is clear to move on down the road as soon as they could," he said.

Nearby, employees and patrons watched as the twisters danced west and south of the Denny's Restaurant along I-40, restaurant manager Danielle Landers said.

"We had about seven tables at the time," she said. "There were a few people that wanted to go outside and see the tornadoes, but most people waited inside until the storm passed. We didn't see any damage."

Tornado warnings also were issued for Logan, Creek and Tulsa counties, but there were no reports that any tornadoes touched down or that any damage was done.

Near Tulsa, a storm toppled trees and damaged at least one house, a mobile home and an auto dealership as it moved through around 1 p.m.

Resident Leslie Shanks said he saw a tornado twist a tree in his front yard and noticed that another tree had fallen onto the back of his house.

"It hit and was gone," Shanks told the Tulsa World.

There was no immediate confirmation from the National Weather Service that a tornado touched down.

Some 2,618 Oklahoma Gas & Electric customers and between 3,000 and 4,000 AEP-PSO customers lost electric power at the height of the storms. Service had been restored to all but 1,200 AEP-PSO customers by 8 p.m., officials said.

In southwestern Oklahoma, spotters reported a tornado, estimated at 200 yards wide, touched down about 8:30 p.m. near Randlett, the weather service said. The twister remained on the ground about 13 minutes, damaging trees but no structures. Another tornado was reported in Stephens County west of Marlow.

The storms formed within a tornado watch that initially covered much of western and central Oklahoma, but was extended to cover eastern counties until early Tuesday.