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Mother, baby die in Okla. tornadoes

Cars were damaged by a tornado in El Reno, Okla.

Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman/AP

Cars were damaged by a tornado in El Reno, Okla.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Tornadoes rolled in from the prairie and slammed Oklahoma City and its suburbs on Friday, killing a mother and baby and crumbling cars and tractor-trailers along a major interstate.

The broad storm hit during the evening rush hour, causing havoc on Interstate 40, a major artery connecting suburbs east and west of the city. To the south, winds approaching 80 miles per hour were forecast for Moore, where a top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado killed 24 on May 20.

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Floodwaters up to 4 feet deep hampered rescue attempts and frequent lightning roiled the skies well after the main threat had passed to the east.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph said troopers found the bodies of a woman and an infant near their vehicle. Randolph said it’s not known if the woman was driving into the storm when it hit around 7 p.m.

Emergency officials reported numerous injuries along I-40, and Randolph said there were wrecked cars littering the area.

Standing water was several feet deep, and downtown Oklahoma City looked more like a hurricane had gone through than a tornado.

Tornado warnings were also posted Friday night near Tulsa and near St. Louis.

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