Staff and Wire
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Strong thunderstorms moving through Oklahoma have knocked out power to more than 16,000 Oklahoma Gas & Electric co. customers.
Most of the outages are in the Oklahoma City metro area. OG&E reports that 15,954 customers were without power in Piedmont, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Del City and Nichols Hills.
Other areas experiencing power outages include Enid, Hallett, Heavener and Howe.
A section of the roof was severely damaged at Midwest City High School. Tree limbs are also down across the metro.
The Bricktown Hotel at 2200 E Reno Avenue has been evacuated due to a gas leak.
The storms are the result of a cold front that entered the state on Wednesday and is pushing south through the state. the storms were accompanied by heavy rain, hail, strong winds and frequent lightning.
Straight line winds can so as much damage as a tornado.
A powerline was knocked down in Edmond.
Forecasters say more storms are likely overnight and Friday as the impact of an upper high pressure ridge shifts west. Storm chances may increase again Monday and Tuesday as the western ridge flattens.