Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2008 – 3:45 p.m. – Situation Update 2
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer
SPRING STORMS BRING TORNADO DAMAGE TO STATE
A strong storm system developed in the central U.S. on Thursday. This combined with warm temperatures and high humidity resulted in isolated severe thunderstorm development by late afternoon. These storms affected primarily Lincoln, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee and Payne counties, producing up to baseball size hail and tornadoes. During the overnight hours, a cold front moved into Oklahoma. A line of storms developed along this front, affecting much of the state. Isolated tornadoes, along with hail up to golf ball size and winds upwards of 75 mph, accompanied these storms. The most significant impact from the early morning storms occurred in Mayes and Rogers counties where a tornado was confirmed.
The forecast calls for cooler than normal conditions through Saturday. A chance of thunderstorms will return to the state early next week.
Injuries and Fatalities
Minor injuries reported in Mayes, Oklahoma and Rogers counties.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 450 homes and businesses are without power statewide. In Bristow, 187 OG& E customers are without power and in Idabel and Tulsa 274 PSO customers are without electric service. At the height of the power outages, about 14,200 homes and businesses were without power; 5,200 PSO customers and 9,000 OG&E customers.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reports a tornado occurred over portions of Rogers and Mayes counties early this morning. Based on damage assessments, the tornado was rated an EF1, with wind speeds estimated at 85 to 95 miles per hour. The damage path was estimated at 500 yards wide and nine miles long. NWS damage assessment teams are surveying other damage sites as well.
About 15 homes sustained storm damage in Mayes and Rogers counties, according to preliminary damage assessments completed by local emergency managers and Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) staff. One home was destroyed, two received minor damage and another 12 were affected. Many more out buildings and trees were damaged and destroyed.
Near Bartlesville, one home was destroyed and another severely damaged during the early morning storms, according to Bartlesville/Washington County Emergency Management. Additionally, an indoor roping arena was damaged and about 50 homes experienced power outages.
OEM personnel continue to assist local emergency managers with damage assessments in the affected areas. No additional requests for assistance at this time.