Strong Winds Cause Injuries, Damage At Oklahoma State Fair

Tuesday, September 17th 2013, 7:44 pm
By: News 9

Severe storms producing strong winds moved through the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds on Tuesday, causing damage and injuring several people at the Oklahoma State Fair.

News 9 Chief Meteorologist David Payne says a microburst produced winds up to 50 to 60 mph at the fairgrounds.

According to EMSA, three people were injured at the state fair. Two were hit by a tent and one was hit by a tree. All three were transported in good condition to local hospitals.

Our News 9 booth at the state fair was ransacked by the winds. Several trees in the area are down.

According to the Oklahoma State Fair's Facebook page, some equipment at the Chickasaw Entertainment Stage received damage. The Hawk Nelson and Building 429 concert has been canceled.

State fair officials say they are currently in the process of assessing the damage across the rest of the park.

The storms did catch some people off guard at the State Fair. High winds ripped the fairgrounds Tuesday evening leaving tents demolished, downed trees, and nerves rattled.

The good news is no one was seriously hurt. Some say wind gust had to be as high as 70 miles per hour.

"It was like nothing I ever seen, it was just real dark. You couldn't even see in front of you to walk the wind was so bad," Shirley Harvell said.

Harvells roasted corn stand took the hardest hit.

"I said what building do we go in, I was scared," Susan Willhite said.

Welders had to weld back support poles. The wind snapped them off the frame that held the marquee sign out front. It was tied to a 1,000 pound propane tank that rolled when the winds came through.

"The fair board had done a good job evacuating people and getting them inside of buildings," said Maj. Jim Williams, Oklahoma City Fire Department.

One fair-goer on his way home came out to a tree on top of his pick-up truck.

Right behind that truck, paramedics checked out an event worker who was on his golf cart when a tree limb slammed into it nearly hitting him. He was treated for a few minor scrapes and bruises.

"When I was going down the road going toward the RV park, a couple of trees fell in front of me. We made it," said Gene Chumbley, Owner of Event Productions.

EMSA reports two people were injured by a tent and the one man was injured by that tree during the storm. All three were transported in good condition to local hospitals.