An intense storm system moved across the Southern Plains on Monday, spawning tornadoes that caused scattered damage and a deluge of rain but not the "particularly dangerous" twisters that forecasters had feared.
At least 21 tornadoes were reported in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas from early Monday to Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said - and more are possible, especially in parts of Missouri and Arkansas.
In Nebraska, one tornado nearly killed the storm chasers who were tracking it.
Serious river flooding - including along the already swollen Mississippi River - also is expected in the central United States as another 2 to 5 inches of rain are expected to fall over the region in the next few days.
"The whole area is in the bulls-eye, with more rounds of severe storms possible", the forecaster said.
On Monday, the National Weather Service said the risk of tornadoes in the region was higher than at any time in years.
Dozens of people were rescued from rising floodwaters and felled trees that smashed homes and blocked roadways in Oklahoma, as severe storms unleashing tornadoes and heavy rain roared through the central United States on Tuesday.
"Hominy (Osage County) and Broken Arrow (Wagoner County) both have significant flooding and are setting up shelters for people who have been displaced by high water; Washington County Emergency Management reports a mobile home park is flooded in Dewey", Cain said.
The threat of nasty weather had prompted measures to prepare for the worst.
Wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour, tornadoes, floods and baseball-size hail are possible.
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Multiple Oklahoma highways are closed due to high water or storm debris.
Roads in Ponca City, in northern Oklahoma, have turned into rivers, with the local government urging drivers to stay away from the water.
The county emergency manager reported flooding in the city had begun to enter buildings, CNN affiliate KTUL reported. The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University also closed their campuses.
As CNN pointed out, today is the sixth anniversary of a tornado that struck the city of Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24 people.
The police department asked residents to "not get out and drive around".
In addition to taking care of your family members, you should also prepare for your pets.
With a flood watch in effect for the greater Oklahoma City region, school districts in Oklahoma City, nearby Norman and elsewhere canceled classes.
Early Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for the Tulsa area, including Tulsa, Rogers, Mayes, Wagoner, Osage, Pawnee and Washington counties.
Another tornado was reported near Lucien, in northern Oklahoma, severely damaging a house and destroying a barn.