At Least 1 Tornado Confirmed As Storms Rumble Across State

Severe thunderstorms spawned at least one confirmed tornado, another possible twister and a wind gust of 100 mph in Oklahoma, causing damage and thousands of power outages on Wednesday, authorities said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but damage was reported in several counties as storms blossomed along a southward-moving cold front.

In Caddo County in southwest Oklahoma, a possible tornado damaged homes and businesses in Anadarko, authorities said.

"Anadarko has been hit hard," Caddo County Emergency Management Director Larry McDuffey said. "We don't know if it was from straight-line winds or from a tornado.

"There are power lines down everywhere and firefighters are going door-to-door to check and see if people are trapped in cellars."

 

At Least 1 Tornado Confirmed As Storms Rumble Across State

 

 

Dozens of inmates were evacuated from the Caddo County jail because of a gas line break, McDuffey said.

Downed power lines and large trees on U.S. Highways 62 and 281 made Anadarko inaccessible from the east, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

Gracemont, to the north of Anadarko, also had some damage and the American Red Cross and fire departments from neighboring communities were headed into the county to help, McDuffey said.Taj Mahal

A tornadic storm was spotted about 6 miles west of Tonkawa in Kay County, but emergency crews didn't find a damage path, said Charles Conaghan, emergency management director for Tonkawa.

"We do have damage in the Noble County area east of Red Rock. We had some trees uprooted," Conaghan said. "We took precautions here, but it was close. It developed right on top us and we didn't have much lead time."

Garfield County Emergency Management Director Mike Honigsberg says tornado sirens sounded in the county as a precaution but there was no confirmed tornado, just half dollar-size hail.

In northeast Oklahoma, a tornado warning was issued for Washington County, where a 100 mph wind gust was recorded west of the Bartlesville airport, authorities said.

"We had some minor damage but never had a tornado confirmed," said Melissa Pitner, a spokeswoman for Washington County Emergency Management. "We had trees and power lines down, carports and fence damage.

"There are several trees blocking roads and there were two reports of trees that fell on cars while they were in the driveway."

About 8,000 power outages were reported at one point -- about 4,900 from Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and about 3,100 from Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, officials said.

The state has been pounded by severe weather the past few days.

Early Wednesday, severe storms that began in the Texas Panhandle tracked into southwest Oklahoma, where wind gusts in the 60-mph range were reported. Once the storms barreled eastward into central Oklahoma, they collapsed and kicked out winds that gusted over 70 mph in western Oklahoma City.

The winds blew down power lines and a tractor-trailer rig overturned on Interstate 35 in north Oklahoma City shortly before 1:30 a.m. The roadway was shut down for more than two hours.

Tune into Eyewitness News 5 In The Morning starting at 5 a.m. for complete coverage of the storms and any damage caused by them.



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