Idabel, Oklahoma’s emergency management director says that he’s hoping for the best after his town took a direct hit from a tornado.
Cody McDaniel talked to FOX Weather Friday evening moments after the tornado moved through his city. He hoped the town he works to protect wasn’t completely destroyed.
"Just stay away from Idabel," he pleaded. "Just stay away from the east side of Broken Bow."
A Tornado Emergency, one of the rarest warnings by the National Weather Service, was issued for Idabel and Broken Bow at 6:45 p.m. CT on Friday.
As the nerves shot through his voice, McDaniel said there were injuries but feared what search and rescue teams might find.
"There have been reports of (casualties)," he said. "I hope that’s not going to be the case."
McDaniel said with the tornado just moving through, everything seemed demolished.
"Idabel took a direct hit, so there’s a lot of home damages, lots of lines down," he explained.
Trinity Baptist Church was one of the places damaged.
Crews will work to survey the damage, but, in the meantime, McDaniel urged people to stay away from the area.
"It’s times like these that we are at our very best. It doesn’t matter who you are, how you look, where you live, how much money you have, what’s your religion or political party - all that matters is a brother or sister is in need, and we’re going to be there for one another. We have had reports of fatalities as a result of these storms. We’ve saw injuries as a result. We’ve saw partial and total destruction, but God was with us," McCurtain Memorial Hospital CEO Brian Whitfield said in a statement.
Local authorities said they had received reports of at least one death in McCurtain County and 64 homes destroyed in and around the community of Idabel.