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Tornadoes, baseball-size hail reported in southwest Oklahoma

Four tornadoes touched down in southwest Oklahoma on Wednesday. Some damage was reported to the Goodyear plant in Lawton, according to the National Weather Service. No injuries were reported with any of the tornadoes.
by Matt Dinger Modified: April 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm •  Published: April 18, 2013

Two tornadoes were confirmed in southwest Oklahoma Wednesday, the first of which caused some damage at the Goodyear plant in Lawton.

The first tornado was reported about 6:50 p.m. in southwest Lawton, according to the National Weather Service.

No injuries were reported.

The Goodyear plant sustained roof damage, and an outbuilding at the plant was destroyed, Comanche County spokesman Jacob Russell said.

Four people were also trapped in a mobile home between Elgin and Sterling that was blown off its foundation, but they were rescued and no one was hurt, Russell said.

Power flashes were reported on the west side of the plant as the tornado tracked through the Lawton-Fort Sill area, and more than 1,350 Public Service Co. of Oklahoma customers were without power. More than 400 Comanche County customers were without power as of 9 p.m., while about 1,000 were without power in Grady County.

About 8:05 p.m., the second confirmed tornado was reported seven miles southeast of Davidson, in Tillman County, the weather service said.

Two additional tornadoes were reported, but the meteorologists said late Wednesday that they could not be confirmed. One of those tornadoes was reported about 7:45 p.m. about four miles east of Fletcher in Comanche County. The second was reported about 8:50 p.m. near Grandfield in Tillman County.

Lightning and floods

About 9:30 p.m., lightning strikes caused two simultaneous tank battery fires in Oklahoma City. The first, near NE 6 and Everest Avenue, was quickly extinguished, fire Deputy Chief Marc Woodard said. A second fire at a tank battery farm containing 22 tanks was reported in the 500 block of N Bryant Avenue. No injuries were reported, but 23 people were evacuated from the area of NE 4 to NE 10 between Interstate 35 and Sunnylane Road, Woodard said. The fire was contained and mostly extinguished by 11 p.m.

Northbound lanes of Interstate 235 at NW 50 were flooded late Wednesday, according to television news reports. Live footage showed two vehicles partially submerged on the highway.

As of 10:50 p.m., 1.98 inches of rain was recorded in west Oklahoma City, according to the Oklahoma Mesonet, while 1.90 inches fell at the east site and 1.63 inches was recorded at the north site.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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