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Towns Pummeled By Twisters

From Staff Reports Published: May 4, 1999
Monday's barrage of tornadoes wrecked homes, businesses and lives across the state.

A tornado that killed one person in Dover nearly leveled

the town of Mulhall, where virtually every structure was damaged.

Bank vice president Perry Patterson took refuge inside his bank.

"The walls shook like Jell-O," Patterson said.

Mulhall, a town of about 200, is about 50 miles north of Oklahoma City.

A church in Mulhall was moved off its foundation and dropped on top of a house 15 feet away. Mulhall also lost its water tower in the storm, causing local officials to worry about supplying the community with drinking water.

For Stroud, a late-night tornado could be an economic disaster. Roughly 10 percent of its population was unemployed Tuesday after the tornado wrecked Tanger Outlet Mall, the town's largest employer with some 350 workers. Stroud is about 50 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

Local civic leaders were anxiously awaiting word from Tanger Outlet Malls headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., on whether they would rebuild the 53-store mall that pumps $150,000 a month in sales tax revenue into the town that has grown from 2,200 to 3,600 since it opened in July 1992.

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