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Oklahoma tornadoes: Piedmont tornado survivor's condition is upgraded to fair

Cathleen Hamil, 5, the last member of Piedmont's Hamil family to remain hospitalized after the May 24 tornadoes in Oklahoma, has been upgraded to fair condition, officials said.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Published: June 1, 2011
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The lone remaining hospitalized member of a Piedmont family ravaged by last week's tornadoes has been upgraded to fair condition at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Cathleen Hamil, 5, is one of three children in her family who huddled in a bathtub with their mother as a tornado ripped up their home May 24. Her mother, Catherine Hamil, 36, was released from the hospital Sunday. Cathleen's brothers, Ryan Hamil, 3, and Cole Hamil, 15 months, were killed.

The tornadoes were responsible for 10 deaths and destroyed 493 homes and businesses, damaged 370 more and affected another 284 in seven central Oklahoma counties.

Local, state and federal authorities conducted preliminary damage assessments Friday and Saturday, Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Earl Armstrong said.

FEMA will provide more services if the federal government declares the counties affected by the storms a disaster area, Armstrong said. Gov. Mary Fallin requested the designation last week.

Officials have not yet completed assessments of all of 2011's tornadoes, but there likely will be 55 to 60 confirmed tornadoes in Oklahoma this year through May, said warning coordination meteorologist Greg Carbin of the Storm Prediction Center. That's above the state's average of 37 each year from January to May and 44 for the same time period in the last 10 years.

The January to May state record is 116 tornadoes in 1999. Carbin said the state most likely has seen the bulk of the tornadoes that will hit in 2011.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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