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Oklahoma tornadoes: Cleanup continues in Norman after EF-1 tornado

Utility crews and residents continued working Sunday in the aftermath of an EF-1 tornado that raked across the heart of Norman, OK, on Friday afternoon.
by Andrew Knittle Published: April 16, 2012

— Two days after a tornado raked across the heart of Norman, residents and utility crews continued to pick up the pieces in the city's hardest hit areas.

The National Weather Service categorized the tornado as an EF-1. The twister brought with it winds in excess of 100 mph, damaging homes, businesses and ripping several large, mature trees out of the ground in Andrews Park.

About 20 people were injured during the storm, although most of those injuries were minor. A Norman Regional Hospital spokeswoman said Friday one person was admitted to the hospital, but that person's injuries were not considered serious.

Norman police Capt. Tom Easley said Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. crews worked Sunday along 24th Avenue SW, between Boyd Street and State Highway 9, where numerous power lines and utility poles were damaged.

According to OG&E's website, more than 800 Norman residents remained without power Sunday evening. Just after the storm passed, about 4,000 of OG&E's Norman customers were affected.

Rusty Surette, an American Red Cross spokesman, said Sunday a shelter remains open in Norman at St. Stephen's United Methodist Church, 1801 W Brooks St.

“We didn't have anybody there most of the day, I believe, but it is possible that more people could show up tonight or tomorrow,” Surrette said Sunday evening. “At one point, we had about 20 people in there, but it will remain open until it's clear it's not needed anymore.”

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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