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Oklahoma tornado: 6 fatalities confirmed

Storms moving in, tornado watches issued for 44 Oklahoma counties.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: May 10, 2010 at 11:55 pm •  Published: May 10, 2010

Tornadoes hit Wakita

It's unknown how many tornadoes actually touched down in Grant County this afternoon, but Wakita Police Chief Dean Bellin saw about five rotating clouds combine as baseball-size hail plummeted the area.

He said he saw about five funnel clouds near State Highway 11A.

"For a while it looked like they would make one big one," Bellin said.

Hail knocked out windows of homes and caused roof damage. Fences also were blown over.

"Some of it looked like two baseballs stuck together," Bellin said.

A Wakita fire truck lost its windshield to the large hail, he said.

Bellin said power lines were blown down from south of Wakita east to Medford along State Highway 11. Utility crews are responding to repair the damage.

At 3:56 p.m. a large tornado was spotted on the ground four miles north of Medford in Grant County, according to the National Weather Service.

Multiple spotters and tornado chasers reported that a tornado briefly touched down and then lifted off again about 3:33 p.m. between Medford and Wakita in Grant County, according to the National Weather Service.

Grant County dispatchers said they received numerous reports of significant damage, including downed trees and power lines.

Janet Frisk, dispatcher in Alfalfa County, said baseball-sized hail broke out a number of windows in buildings and cars in Cherokee. She said the storm moved out of Alfalfa County as of 3:45 p.m.

Power outages

At 11:45 p.m. OG&E reported about 26,860 customers without service, with about 20,200 of those in the Oklahoma City metro area.

Public Services Company in Oklahoma reported about 2,600 customers without power.

Other municipal electric companies have also reported power outages.


The American Red Cross has opened three shelters, spokeswoman Kyla Campbell said.

One shelter was opened at the Harrah Church. That center is a family reunification center for those who were separated in the storm.

Another was opened at Tecumseh City Hall.

A third shelter has opened at the Cromwell Fire Department.

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