EDMOND — Cleanup continued Friday from the May 19 Edmond tornado, the first of a series of tornadoes that devastated Oklahoma over two days.
No one was reported injured in the Sunday afternoon tornado that hit southeast Edmond and damaged a dozen homes and Mercy Edmond I-35, an $88 million medical complex and wellness center now under construction.
Three houses received major damage. Two of those were in the Thornebrook Village, between 33rd and 15th streets off Bryant Avenue, said Matt Stillwell, Edmond's emergency management director. Eight houses received minor damage.
Roof damage and uprooted trees were seen throughout the city.
Edmond Emergency Management officials are still working on a dollar estimate of damage and will meet with FEMA officials on Monday. There has been a delay because Edmond Emergency Management officials, local police and firefighters went to assist with the April 20 tornado in Moore that left 24 people dead and more than 280 injured.
Damage from the Edmond tornado is being compared to the damage seen in the 2011 windstorm that left downed trees.
“There is a lot of tree damage,” said Keith Stewart, the city's field services superintendent. “There were a lot of big trees this time. It didn't cover as much of an area. We certainly have nothing like in Moore.”
City officials hired contractors to help remove the debris in the damaged areas, Stewart said.
Work on debris removal started Tuesday. Stewart estimated that 25 to 30 percent of the job is completed.
Officials have an incentive to get the job done in 30 days, because FEMA would reimburse Edmond 85 percent of the cost of the removal.
Plans now are to hire a second contractor to grind up the debris which will be hauled to the landfill and to a composting site.
Mercy Edmond I-35 was to open July 1. The opening may be delayed up to six months.
No one was at the three-story, 206,000-square-foot medical complex, which is southwest of Interstate 35 and 15th Street, when the tornado hit. Officials estimated the dollar amount will be significant.
Stone and brickwork on the northeast corner of the building, which is the main entrance to the surgery center, was not secure after the tornado and was in danger of falling, said Nick Niver, Mercy Edmond I-35 administrator. Most of the siding was ripped off around the top of the entire building.
A portion of the roof was damaged, allowing water to damage furniture on the inside. A number of trees, shrubs and plants that had been planted three days earlier were ripped from the soft ground.
The tornado also took its toll on three flagpoles at the entrance of the property. The middle flagpole was gone while the other two were leaning toward
“We are thankful,” Niver said. “It could have been so much worse.”