Tornadoes Trail Across 2 States

OKLAHOMA CITY -- At least 18 people were killed on Saturday in Missouri and Oklahoma after tornadoes swept through the area, authorities in the two states said.

There were at least 12 storm-related deaths in Missouri, according to Susie Stonner of the Missouri Emergency Management Agency.

"There's a lot of wreckage and overturned vehicles," she said, adding police had not ruled out finding more victims.

Hardest hit was Racine, a tiny community in Newton County about 270 kilometers south of Kansas City.

"Basically a 24-block area is virtually destroyed," said Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

She added that Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry had ordered National Guard troops to arrive in Picher by Sunday morning to help in rescue and recovery operations.

Ooten said search efforts for missing people in Picher were shutting down as it was unsafe for rescuers to move through the rubble at night.

"You need day break," she said. "That'll be the real story."

Fifty people have been treated for injuries ranging from head trauma to lacerations and broken bones, said Jennifer Hessee, spokeswoman for the Integris Baptist Regional Health Center in Miami, Oklahoma.

"I've never seen anything like this," Hessee said. "It'll make for a sad Mother's Day for a lot of people."