LONE GROVE — Wes Pack, a student at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, was at a restaurant Tuesday night in Oklahoma City with his girlfriend Ashley Johnson. She looked at a television and noticed Carter County had a tornado warning. Pack saw the path was aimed at his parent’s home in Majestic Hills, northeast of Lone Grove just outside Ardmore. He called his mother, Susan Pack, who alerted her husband, Rick. They rushed to their shelter and were joined there by six neighbors. An EF-4 tornado, with winds estimated by the National Weather Service at 180 mph to 185 mph, destroyed their two-story home and other homes in Majestic Hills. "He saved our lives,” Rick Pack said of his son’s phone call. The first National Weather Service severe thunderstorm warning including Carter County, which mentioned the possibility of tornadoes, was issued 62 minutes before the deadly tornado hit Lone Grove, according to the weather service. The first tornado warning including Carter County was issued 40 minutes before the strike. Survivors in southern Oklahoma told National Weather Service meteorologists of various ways they received warnings.
Weather radioLarry Emerson, who lives three miles west of Lone Grove, and his wife, Melanie, were watching TV weather coverage until the power went out. They went to their shelter and took their weather radio. "We sat there and listened to the guy,” Emerson told Mike Foster, meteorologist for the National Weather Service on Wednesday. "You were listening to this guy,” Foster said, nodding toward warning coordination meteorologist Rick Smith. Foster and Smith were working from the Norman forecast office Tuesday. Wednesday, Emerson looked at Smith and said, "I wouldn’t be here without it. You know I check your guys’ stuff once a day. Now it’ll be twice a day.”
Cell phoneMike Graham lives on the south side of Lone Grove. He left his mobile home and went to check on his parents at their nearby house. Graham did this after receiving a cell phone warning from a television meteorologist, which caused him to pay attention to severe weather coverage. Graham and his parents gathered in a central hallway at the house. The tornado hit and destroyed the house, but the family survived.
TIMELINE AT A GLANCENational Weather Service’s warning timeline for Carter County on Feb. 10: →A severe thunderstorm warning including Carter County — which includes Lone Grove and Ardmore — was issued at 6:28 p.m. →A tornado warning including Carter County was issued at 6:50 p.m. and continued at 7:15 p.m. The tornado hit Lone Grove about 7:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.