A tornado damaged homes in Mustang and southwest Oklahoma City early Saturday, but no serious injuries were reported, authorities said.
Tornado sirens sounded across Oklahoma City before dawn, and at least three possible tornadoes were reported west and north of the city, state Emergency Management Department official Michelann Ooten said.
A tornado hit Mustang about 12:45 a.m. Saturday, said meteorologist Bruce Thoren at the National Weather Service in Norman.
The tornado also
Outdoor warning sirens were not activated because no warning was issued by the National Weather Service, Oklahoma City spokeswoman Kristy Yager said. One home sustained major roof damage, while four mobile homes had minor damage.
In Mustang, about 30 homes in the Chisholm Trail neighborhood sustained light to moderate damage, but none of those homes are uninhabitable, Mustang Police Chief Chuck Foley said.
Damage to homes also was reported in The Branches housing addition near N Geronimo Way and N Ponderosa Way. There were no reports of injuries, but at least one ambulance was requested to take a person to Integris Canadian Valley Hospital in Yukon, according to Mustang fire radio reports.
The tornado blew off shingles, trim and fences and broke glass. The weather also knocked out a few garage doors, Foley said.
Downed power lines prompted authorities to close SW 59 near Mustang Road until 11 a.m.
Resident Jack Friese wrote in an email to
One of the suspected tornadoes hit near the small town of Piedmont, taking a similar path as a tornado last May that killed several people, Mayor Valerie Thomerson said.
“Because of last year, we've had a lot of new people put storm centers into place,” Thomerson said, adding that no major damage was reported.
Storms in northwest
In the late afternoon and early evening, another storm cell moved through northwestern Oklahoma, dropping multiple tornadoes but doing little damage before moving into Kansas, authorities said.
The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado occurred about 4 p.m. roughly 7 miles north of Woodward.
Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer said the storm damaged a metal outbuilding and a camper, but no injuries were reported. Softball-size hail struck the area.
In Woods County, a tornado was confirmed about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, 4 miles northwest of Freedom. Emergency Management Director Steve Foster said he hadn't received any injury or damage reports.
Authorities were concerned about the more than 5,000 people attending a rattlesnake hunt at Little Sahara State Park, but Foster said most were evacuated and others took shelter at the park.
Tornadoes also were reported in Alfalfa County, and authorities responded to a tank fire caused by the storms.
A day earlier, a tornado hit Norman.
Deputy Norman Fire Chief Jim Bailey said the town was bracing for a second round Saturday.
Bailey emphasized that Norman public shelters are not FEMA approved. That means shelters are no safer than individuals' homes, unless the home is a mobile home. It's important for most people to stay where they are rather than drive to a shelter during a storm, he said.
The American Red Cross shelter in Norman was moved to the St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 1801 W Brooks, on Saturday, spokesman Rusty Surette said. An estimated 200 people took cover in the Whittier Recreation Center as storms moved through the area overnight, he said. As of 6 p.m. Saturday, there were 23 people using the shelter, Surette said.
There were 19 injuries related to Friday's storms in Norman, according to the state Health Department.
About 4,500 people remained without power Saturday evening in the Norman area. About 3,800 Oklahoma Electric Cooperative customers and about 700 OG&E customers were without power, due to a destroyed transmission line. Most Oklahoma Natural Gas service had been restored, including at Norman High School and Jefferson Elementary, according to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.
The Storm Prediction Center gave the warning that the outbreak could be a “high-end, life-threatening event.”
It was just the second time in U.S. history that the center issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance. The first was in April 2006, when nearly 100 tornadoes tore across the southeastern U.S., killing a dozen people and damaging more than 1,000 homes in Tennessee.