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Hailstorm damages wheat fields, homes in southwestern Oklahoma

Grandfield City Manager Randy Clark says a surprise hailstorm Friday evening in the southwestern Oklahoma farming town was the most damaging he's ever seen.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: May 6, 2012
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Tillman County Sheriff Bobby Whittington, who lives in Grandfield, said he was not at home at the time of the storm but four of his family's vehicles were likely totaled.

Whittington said the storm blew the roof off a local diner and destroyed three of his sheriff's department vehicles.

Wheat crop suffers

Wheat farmers may have suffered the worst damage, though, with the giant hail obliterating most of the area's crop in a matter of minutes. The wheat was especially susceptible to storm damage because it was nearly mature, with harvest scheduled to kick off Tuesday.

“It was a pretty damn hard blow to a farming community that's trying to come back from a devastating drought last year,” Whittington said.