The severe storms that uprooted trees, demolished homes and killed at least eight people in central Oklahoma on Tuesday are expected to weaken Wednesday, authorities said.
A tornado watch that was in effect early Wednesday for central Oklahoma was lifted, the National Weather Service said. That was good news for people in the city of Lone Grove, who were dealing with extensive damage from the deadly storms that hit the area. Lone Grove, about 90 miles south of the capital, Oklahoma City, had all of the fatalities and most of the approximately 50 injuries caused by the storms, according to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Watch funnel cloud touch down » Also hit hard by the storms were the towns of Pawnee and Edmond, both north of the capital. Dramatic television footage of one storm showed large funnel clouds that darkened the sky as the storm approached. It mangled homes, snapped trees and crushed cars with debris as it touched down. “The wind started blowing really hard and then died down,” a Lone Grove man told CNN affiliate KOCO-TV. Then, “all heck broke loose. I mean, it just broke loose. The whole house shook.” Watch post-tornado damage »
KOCO: Complete storm coverage
Donetta Singleton, manager of Bill’s Fish House in Lone Grove, said one tornado’s path took it right past the restaurant. She said the post office was gone and a church was damaged. Lone Grove police said a trailer park was hit, while KOCO showed several homes flattened by the storm.
Mercy Memorial Health Center in Ardmore, about eight miles east of Lone Grove, received 46 people with injuries — seven considered major — after the storms passed, said Shana Hammond, a hospital spokeswoman. The storms knocked out power to about 29,000 OG&E customers, including nearly 10,000 in Bethany. iReport.com: Are you there Share photos, video