EDMOND — When Crystal Routz left work Tuesday, she knew a tornado had passed through Edmond. The Oak Tree housing addition resident said she didn’t figure her house was in the path of the storm. But Routz’s plans for dinner with the kids, homework and an early bedtime were dashed when she arrived home and found a scene of destruction. Hours after the storm, Routz, 37, was frantically moving clothing out of her closet, boxing up photographs and carrying valuables to rooms that weren’t as severely damaged by the storm. Several neighbors helped her while her father-in-law was on the phone trying to reach an insurance adjuster. Her husband, Ben, was out of town Tuesday, but was on his way to their home at 5608 Irvine Drive. "The bright side in all of this is that no one was home,” Routz said. "Everything in this house is replaceable but my family.”
Taking shelterNext door to Routz, neighbor Jeanette Penhall lost most of the roof on her house. She left her home about 6 p.m., taking shelter under an umbrella as rain continued to pour down on the inside of her house. Penhall, 51, was home when the storm hit. She wasn’t injured because she was hiding under a mattress in the hallway. "It happened so fast,” Penhall said. "I heard the wind and then it was over. I knew it was coming my way, but I never thought it would hit my house.” In other parts of the city, rescuers worked to free people trapped by storm debris, said Matt Stillwell, Edmond emergency management director. Workers freed a group of people from a storm shelter at a horse farm, and a man and woman pinned at shelters were freed, Stillwell said. Emergency crews spent hours going through neighborhoods looking for victims.
Passing closeThe twister passed close to Edmond’s Mitch Park, damaging several homes in Kanaly’s North Country neighborhood north of Covell Road and Santa Fe Avenue. Addition resident Lisa Brady said she took cover when she heard the first warning sirens. "I went in my bedroom closet with my dogs,” she said. "I heard a rumbling and looked out the window and saw the rain and cloudiness and said ‘It’s time to take cover.’” The tornado uprooted trees and damaged the roof on her home. "I heard doors slam and glass break,” she said. "I didn’t hear the trees snap, but I knew something was going on out there.” Brady said she waited another five minutes after hearing the wind stop before leaving the closet. "It’s amazing how a closet can save you,” she said. Up the street, John Wise was more fortunate. "I saw debris hit and it went over the top of my house,” he said. "I didn’t get any damage.” Contributing: Staff Writer Ann Kelley
• The mid-afternoon tornado carved a path of destruction several miles long from northwest Oklahoma City into west and north Edmond.
• No serious injuries were reported in Edmond.
• Six homes were damaged or destroyed in Edmond and several businesses reported damage.
• The storm downed power lines throughout Edmond, blocking streets and leaving residents without electricity. At one point Tuesday, 1,700 homes were without electricity. By Wednesday morning most homes had power restored, officials said.