A tornado levelled a motel and tore through a mobile home park near Oklahoma City, killing two people and injuring at least 29 others before a second twister raked a suburb of Tulsa more than 160km away.
The first tornado touched down in El Reno, about 40km west of Oklahoma City. It crossed an interstate and walloped the American Budget Value Inn before ripping through the Skyview Estates trailer park, flipping and levelling homes, Mayor Matt White said.
"It's a tragic scene out there," White said, adding later that, "people have absolutely lost everything."
He said the city established a GoFundMe site, the City of El Reno Tornado Relief Fund, for affected families. Several other businesses were also damaged, though not to the same extent as the motel.
The two people who were killed were in the mobile home park, White said. He did not provide additional details about them.
The 29 people who were injured were taken to hospitals, where some were undergoing surgery, the mayor said. Some of the injuries were deemed critical, he said.
"The thing about El Reno is we are more than a community, we are a family. ... We're going to overcome this. It's so devastating to see the loss out there," he said.
National Weather Service personnel were assessing the damage, but the agency gave the twister a preliminary EF2 rating, which would mean it had wind speeds of 179-217 km/h.
The tornado was spawned by a powerful storm system that rolled through the state — the latest in a week of violent storms to hit the flood-weary Plains and Midwest that have been blamed for at least 11 deaths, including the two killed in El Reno.
Another tornado destroyed several buildings and downed trees and power lines in the Tulsa suburb of Sapulpa, which is 177km northeast of El Reno.
Pete Snyder, a hydrometeorological technician with the National Weather Service in Tulsa, said crews were assessing damage to determine the tornado's rating. The area also experienced damage from strong straight-line winds, he said.
The Sapulpa Police Department said on its Facebook page that it hadn't heard of any deaths and that only a few minor injuries had been reported.