Oklahoma tornadoes: At least six of Monday's tornadoes classified at EF-3

Problems with power outages and water shortages continue in the wake of Monday's significant tornado outbreak.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: May 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm •  Published: May 12, 2010

Monday's outbreak yielded at least six EF-3 tornadoes in the in the Norman Forecast Office coverage area, which includes 48 counties roughly in the western two-thirds of Oklahoma. Damage from an EF-2 and three EF-1 tornadoes has also been surveyed.

The results are preliminary and other damage areas are being investigated.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale is used to assign a tornado a 'rating' based on estimated wind speeds and related damage. When tornado-related damage is surveyed, it is compared to a list of damage indicators and degrees of damage which help estimate better the range of wind speeds the tornado likely produced. From that, a rating from EF0 to EF5 is assigned. Information released today is preliminary with other damage areas still being investigated.

The Moore to Tecumseh EF-3 tornado had a maximum width of about a half-mile to three-quarters of a mile with a 23-mile track. An EF-3 tornado which took a track from Tecumseh to Cromwell and had a maximum width of three-quarters to one mile wide.

The northern Pottawatomie County EF-3 tornado and the Norman to Little Axe to Pink North EF-3 tornado each had maximum widths of about a half-mile, according to the report. An EF-3 was also hit an area in Carter County, north, northwest of Lone Grove and another EF-3 struck an area of Kay County.

OUTAGES

Power outages and shortages are among the lingering issues in the wake of Monday's tornadoes.

Work continues today at the Lake Stanley Draper water treatment plant, which is Oklahoma City's main water treatment plant. Power hasn't been restored because of the amount of tree damage around the plant, said Zach Nash, spokesman for the city of Oklahoma City. The plant is operating with generators at 20 percent capacity, leaving some in the southern metro area with low water pressure or no water at all.

In Norman, a mandatory ban on outdoor watering is in place and residents are asked to conserve water overall until they can restore power to pumps used to bring water from Lake Thunderbird to the water treatment plant.

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