National Weather Service

Developing Threats: Flooding & Tornadoes In Oklahoma

Updated 5:15 p.m.: Tornado spotted near Pocasset, Oklahoma. NWS forecasters have issued a Tornado Warning for Grady County until 5:45 p.m. 5:21 pm CDT Tornado Watch extended now includes Cleveland, Canadian, Oklahoma, Lincoln Counties and south cetrl #okwx pic.twitter.com/821AmZBlrI — Oklahoma Mesonet (@okmesonet) May 23, 2015Updated 4:06 p.m. : Interstate 40 closed due to flooding. I40 EAST AND WEST AT MM 55.5 ARE BOTH SHUT DOWN DUE TO FLOODING ON THE INTERSTATE, THIS WILL BE THE CUSTER...
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Marcus Prince drives his Jeep Liberty for the rideshare company Lyft
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week regulating the rideshare industry. The so-called “Uber” bill clarifies insurance requirements and creates a “zero tolerance” drug and alcohol policy. But the new law intentionally leaves out sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination clause.

American Indian Cultural Center & Museum

Oklahoma House Speaker Jeff Hickman is unveiling a plan for a $25 million bond issue to complete a long unfinished Native American museum near downtown Oklahoma City, while a separate proposal has been released for a $25 million museum in Tulsa.

Hickman revealed details of the plan late Monday, while Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman introduced a bill for a separate $25 million bond proposal to build the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, or OKPOP, in Tulsa.

Oklahoma Capitol Building
ana branca / Flickr Creative Commons

A former state lawmaker is challenging the constitutionality of legislation that has been the principal source of funding for state agencies and services for the past three years.

Former Republican Rep. Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court Friday. It challenges the constitutionality of annual general appropriations bills adopted by the Legislature to fund state services in three fiscal years dating back to 2012.

A disposal well in Northern Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A coalition of environmental and grassroots organizations is calling for a moratorium on the use of wastewater disposal wells by the oil and natural gas industry in areas where they may trigger earthquakes.

Members of the coalition traveled to the state Capitol Monday to deliver 1,500 signed petitions to Gov. Mary Fallin's office seeking a moratorium on the use of high-volume, high pressure disposals wells in 16 Oklahoma counties.

Bergère rentrant des moutons (Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep), 1886
 Oil on canvas, 
18 1/4 x 15 in.
Camille Pissarro (
France, 1830-1903) / Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art; The University of Oklahoma, Norman Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer Bequest, 2000

Several House lawmakers introduced a resolution Monday morning calling on the University of Oklahoma to research all the objects in its art museum collection to determine if any were stolen during World War II.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole / Flickr

 

President Barack Obama is seeking fast track approval from Congress to negotiate the Trans Pacific Partnership. If Congress grants the president fast track authority, the 12-country trade deal can be approved with a simple up or down vote, and there are no amendments or filibusters. This issue has some Republicans siding with Obama, while Democrats are largely against it.

 

(This post was updated at 12:45 p.m. ET.)

A line of strong storms left 2 dead in Nashville, Arkansas, and another two dead in Van, Texas.

CNN reports that Van was badly damaged after the storm system appeared to spawn violent tornadoes. More than 20 people were also injured in that storm. The network reports:

Doug Williams examines a polygraph test on his computer.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A former Oklahoma City police officer faces federal witness tampering and mail fraud charges for teaching people how to pass the polygraph test. Doug Williams was indicted last year after an undercover sting operation and his trial begins Tuesday in the Western District of Oklahoma Federal Court.

Williams meets clients at his tiny, spartan rented basement office on Main Street in Norman, where he charges $1,000 for one-on-one training sessions.

Two years ago, one of the worst tornadoes on record hit the town of Moore, Okla. And you might say to yourself, well, doesn't this always happen there? It's called Tornado Alley for a reason.

And that's pretty much how the residents of Moore think about tornadoes. They're just part of life, and you take your chances. But that kind of thinking was part of the problem on May 20, 2013. The storm that came through that day was different. It was horrific.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued another Tornado Watch for Sunday afternoon and evening for central and eastern Oklahoma on what's expected to be the last day of this complex system that's brought more than a foot of rain to parts of Oklahoma.

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