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Thunderstorms flood Oklahoma roads, damage Norman airport

At least 100 calves were killed when a tornado hit Tillman County on Monday, and heavy rains flooded roads and closed Deer Creek schools for the day.
BY MATT PATTERSON and TIFFANY GIBSON Published: November 9, 2011

— A tornado that killed at least 100 calves in western Tillman County on Monday was an EF2, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

That is a preliminary estimate based on what surveyors have seen in the field, National Weather Service forecaster Doug Speheger said. At least six tornadoes were produced by the storm that moved across western Oklahoma on Monday, Speheger said.

Speheger said tornadoes are unusual in November in Oklahoma, but “certainly not unheard of.”

Tillman County emergency manager Jeff Rector said three barns at a dairy farm in the county were destroyed, killing 100 to 150 calves and destroying some hay, which is a precious commodity during this year of drought.

Rector said also destroyed was a 1,500-square-foot Oklahoma State University wheat research facility about 3.5 miles south of Tipton on State Highway 5.

“It's down to a concrete slab at this point,” Rector said. “It was wiped clean.”

Two homes were heavily damaged in Tillman County. In Kiowa County, a house east of Snyder was damaged, Kiowa County emergency manager Bill Orebaugh said.

A mobile home in Asher was destroyed and a home in Blanchard also sustained major damage, American Red Cross spokesman Rusty Surette said.

In Tuttle, 13 mobile homes were affected, including four mobile homes with major damage and another three with minor damage, Surette said.

Microburst hits airport

Heavy rain also moved through Oklahoma on Monday, causing damage to the University of Oklahoma Max Westheimer Airport and flooding roads across the state.

A number of intersections across the Oklahoma City area were closed because of high water from overnight rains.

Rick Smith, National Weather Service meteorologist in Norman, said a microburst, which is an intense downdraft, hit Max Westheimer Airport in Norman about 11 p.m. Monday.

Tuesday, University of Oklahoma aviation students were helping with the cleanup. Two badly damaged planes were visible on the tarmac, including one that was flipped over. Several other planes had less extensive damage. A number of hangar doors were broken apart or blown off their tracks.

OU spokeswoman Catherine Bishop said preliminary checks have not identified any damage to an OU aircraft.

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