Severe Storms Cause Damage in Okla.

July 12, 2006

Recent severe thunderstorms in Oklahoma blew vehicles off roads, ripped off roofs and caused an ammonia leak that forced a business to be evacuated, authorities said.

At least one person was reported injured when storms peeled away the roof of a southeast Oklahoma City building that contained commercial refrigeration units, officials said. Fire officials reported seeing a cloud and smelling ammonia vapors nearby and evacuated employees. The injured person’s condition and identity weren’t immediately available.

Along Interstate 40, thunderstorm winds blew over two tractor-trailers in west Oklahoma City and contributed to a three-vehicle accident in Midwest City, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported. A police vehicle was hit in the latter accident, but the officer wasn’t seriously hurt.

In eastern Oklahoma, storms that moved through around 4 p.m. knocked out electricity to about 4,000 customers of American Electric Power-Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, company spokeswoman Andrea Chancellor said

The storms packed winds between 60 mph and 70 mph, damaging trees in the Norman area and hitting trees and blowing down an awning near Tecumseh, officials reported.

Farther to the north, cars were blown off Interstate 35 near Perry, the patrol reported. Near the Kansas border, thunderstorms blew the roof off a porch and blew down power lines and tree limbs were downed in the Lenapah area, authorities said.

The storms also dumped heavy rain in central and northeastern Oklahoma, prompting an urban and small stream flood advisory for Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan and Oklahoma counties until early July 11.

In Kingfisher County, a power pole and some lines were blown down, knocking out power to part of the city, the sheriff’s department reported. There were no immediate figures on how many customers were affected.

The storms formed along a frontal boundary as it sagged into plentiful moisture and 100-degree heat over Oklahoma.

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