More Tornadoes Across Oklahoma; Buildings, Homes Destroyed

May 21, 2010

Two mobile homes were destroyed and several homes and businesses damaged in storms that brought a rash of tornadoes to Oklahoma this week, authorities say, but only few injuries were reported.

The National Weather Service received more than a dozen reports of tornadoes, primarily clustered in central, northern and eastern Oklahoma.

One minor injury was reported and power lines were knocked down as severe thunderstorms hit Kingfisher County, northwest of Oklahoma City, emergency management director Steve Loftis said. A semi overturned about five miles north of Kingfisher, and the driver was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening, Loftis said.

A tornado touched down briefly in an open area near Hennessey, about 60 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, Loftis said. A tornado also was reported near Loyal, bringing down power lines, and the town of Kingfisher, about 45 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, lost power, he said.

Rob Hill, a technician at the Stillwater emergency management office, said two mobile homes and a barn were destroyed and several houses and businesses were damaged when tornadoes touched down briefly.

“We had a lot of large trees blown over across the roads, and several large tree limbs blew onto power lines and the roofs of houses,” Hill said. “We had multiple office buildings, businesses, that had roof damage. But we had no injuries or loss of life.”

Elsewhere, tornadoes damaged trees and buildings in Murray County near Sulphur and Joy. Tornadoes also damaged trees in Garvin County and battered an outbuilding near Prague in Lincoln County, the weather service said.

A tornado may have touched down near Depew in Creek County, west of Tulsa. Street flooding also was reported in Tulsa.

North of Oklahoma City, a large twister touched down near Marshall in Logan County, but emergency manager David Ball said there were no injuries. Ball said hail caused some damage near Crescent.

The storms came hours after severe weather produced at least three tornadoes and other strong storms in the state, which has endured several violent weather episodes recently, including deadly tornadoes on May 10. According to the state Department of Emergency Management, the May 10-11 storms damaged nearly 1,500 homes and businesses, including 282 that were destroyed

Storms packing hail exceeding 4 inches in diameter slammed the Oklahoma City area on May 16, causing extensive property damage and several injuries.

EaOn May 19, a truck driver was injured when straight-line winds blew over a semitrailer on Interstate 35 near Tonkawa, about 20 miles south of the Kansas state line, said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Michelann Ooten.

The driver was taken to a local hospital and his condition was not known, Ooten said. Two other semitrailers also were blown over on the interstate, she said.

In Tonkawa, as much as three inches of rain caused minor flooding around 6 a.m., Ooten said.

Strong thunderstorms produced straight-line winds with gusts up to 60 mph and small hail in that area, said Daryl Williams, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Norman.

A tornado also was reported near Arnett in Ellis County just before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. The tornado was on the ground for only a few seconds and no injuries or damage were reported, said Emergency Management Director Russell Miller.

Two brief touchdowns were also reported Tuesday night near Guymon, according to the National Weather Service in Amarillo, Texas.

More than 5,600 electric customers were without power at one point late Wednesday, utility officials reported.

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