Storm Damages Nearly 30 Structures In Gracemont

Thursday, May 8th 2014, 4:59 pm
By: News 9

The National Weather Service says straight-line winds are to blame for damage in Caddo County. Cleanup work was underway Thursday in the small town of Gracemont after a Wednesday evening storm took out buildings and trees.

The wind was strong enough to blow the roof off of a bank and send it into a former auto supply garage across the town's main road. Large trees have been moved out and bricks could be found piled up Thursday.

"It was something," said resident Leldon Birch. "I don't know what it was, but it was pretty stout."

Birch owns the auto supply garage, which was left heavily damaged from debris of neighboring buildings. Electricity was out for the entire town for about six hours overnight, according to Caddo County Emergency Management. The power outage created an uncomfortable sleeping arrangement for resident Philip Granger.

"I just went and slept in my truck until the electricity came back on," said Granger.

Caddo County officials say eight Gracemont buildings are damaged or destroyed. Roughly 20 homes have roof damage. Large trees are now history. Residents are thankful there were no injuries, especially Bridgette Goergen, who narrowly missed the 2013 Moore tornado.

"I live in a trailer house, so the first thing I'm thinking is the roof [is] going to come off this thing," Goergen said.

For much of this town's few hundred residents, their journey of moving on has already begun. Birch says he plans to tear down what's left of his building and build a new one. Power was restored to Gracemont on Thursday around 4:30 a.m., according to residents.