Live updates: Texas and Oklahoma brace for tornadoes

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The US’s Storm Prediction Center has expanded the area covered in its warnings for severe storms and tornadoes. The growing area is marked as a level 5 — the highest possible level.

The population potentially impacted in the high risk area jumped from 400,000 to more 2 million people, and now includes the Oklahoma City metro area, according to the center’s 9 a.m. ET outlook.

For context: The issuance of a high risk is rare by the SPC — usually only once or twice a season. The last high risk was two years ago. 

Outside of the high risk area, much of the southern Plains into northern Texas could experience severe storms and a tornado threat. There is also a high risk for flash flooding from parts of Oklahoma and Kansas, where rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches will fall on already saturated ground.

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