UPDATE: Power Restored In Ponca City

Saturday, April 9th 2011, 2:09 pm
By: News 9

Lacie Lowry, News 9

UPDATE: PONCA CITY, Oklahoma -- Power is restored to Ponca City. The city is now calling residents to return to their homes and make sure their power is back on. The city said there still may be a few isolated cases.

PONCA CITY, Oklahoma -- Kay County got the rain it needed, but unfortunately the rain came with damaging hail and winds that were clocked at up to 94 mph - before the power went out.

About 80 percent of residents were out of power at the worst of the storm, according to Emergency Management Director Paula Cain.

"We have 85 percent of power restored as of about noon Saturday," Cain said. "We have a problem west of Waverly that's going to take a little more time."

Most residential areas on the northwest side of town sustained roof damage, broken windows and downed trees. 

"Loudest thunder I ever heard and it rattled the windows and I mean, not just barely. I thought the windows might come out," said Ponca City resident Doyce Dixon.

Neighborhoods were filled with downed tree limbs, some that damaged houses and cars.

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The National Weather Service ruled the storm a "rippling downburst" with the damaged caused by straight line winds, not a tornado.

"I thought I had lost a limb off the tree," said resident Teresa Dodson, whose car was damaged by an uprooted tree. "And then when I got to looking and could see what had happened, I realized the whole tree was laying on the ground."

Dodson's neighbor's home took the brunt of the tree blow. The uprooted tree left a hole several feet deep and wide.

"I just couldn't believe it because I thought this tree would never come down," Dodson said.

The damage was most severe to buildings and power lines in the industrial area and airport. The Mid-America Door company lost its 80,000 square foot facility. Fortunately, no one was inside at the time.

"I was expecting to see a few torn off sheet metal and saw a totally collapsed building, so it's pretty amazing," said Corey Phipps with Mid-America Door.

Water poured for several hours from the site because crews couldn't reach the valve buried underneath the mangled metal.

"We'll rebuild like anything else. We're resilient, we'll make it happen," said Phipps.

More: Severe Storm Brings Hail, Damaging Winds In Northern Oklahoma