Oklahoma tornadoes: 'It took it all'

Two confirmed dead in an outbreak of tornadoes that hit Oklahoma on Sunday.
by Randy Ellis Modified: May 20, 2013 at 12:25 am •  Published: May 19, 2013

Less severe damage was reported in Edmond, where a tornado ripped the second story off the home of Cathy and Roland Dawson, 2500 Kensington Terrace, in the Thornbrooke Village addition near the northeast corner of Bryant Avenue and 33rd Street.

The Dawsons said they were hiding under the stairs in their home when the tornado hit at 4:21 p.m.

“I’m kind of shaky,” Cathy Dawson said. “We were hiding in a hidey hole. I had just gotten home five minutes before it hit.”

“I think we got the tail of it,” Roland Dawson said, speculating the house would have been gone if it had sustained a direct hit.

“It sounded like an earthquake,” said Steele Jones, another Thornbrooke Village resident.

The tornado knocked down a portion of a brick fence, damaged roofs and did extensive tree damage in the housing addition.

Edmond

Edmond police said there were no reports of injuries in that city, but about a dozen homes sustained at least some damage. Several power lines were down east of Bryant between 15th and 33rd Streets.

The tornado traveled east from the Thornbrooke addition into the Old Farm addition, where it toppled huge trees along Old Farm Road, completely blocking the road at one point.

Mercy Health Edmond, a hospital facility under construction along Interstate 35, sustained roof damage and broken windows from Sunday’s tornado, but no one was on site when the tornado hit and there were no injuries there, said Rachel Wright, spokeswoman for the hospital.

Emergency declared

The National Weather Service in Norman identified two major storm tracks that produced multiple tornadoes. One track began in southeast Edmond and traveled northeast through Carney in Lincoln County. The other began near Norman and traveled northeast to a point north of Shawnee.

The 16 counties included in Gov. Fallin’s emergency declaration are: Caddo, Cleveland, Comanche, Creek, Garfield, Grant, Greer, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Pawnee, Payne and Pottawatomie.

The declaration can be amended to add additional counties if conditions warrant, she said.

“Our hearts and prayers are with those Oklahomans who have been affected by today’s severe weather,” Fallin said.

“The state of emergency declaration will allow state agencies to help expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions to aid with the cleanup and recovery from today’s storm.”

Under Fallin’s executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.

The American Red Cross was working Sunday night to set up shelters in Carney, Shawnee and Little Axe, spokesman Ken Garcia said.

Volunteers were busy surveying the damage and driving trucks through neighborhoods to provide drinks, snacks and sports drinks.

Contributing: Staff Writers Matt Dinger, LEIGHANNE MANWARREN, Diana Baldwin, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Jaclyn Cosgrove, Juliana Keeping, Nolan Clay, Adam Kemp and Bryan Painter

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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