Severe storms roll through metro

Tuesday, May 27th 2008, 2:35 am
By: News 9

Staff and Wire Reports

Strong storms moved across Oklahoma early Tuesday morning, causing power outages in the state but no confirmed tornadoes.

Nearly 6,700 Oklahoma Gas & Electric customers were without power shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. Just over 5,000 of the outages are in the Oklahoma City metro area with other outages reported in Ada, Sapulpa, Earlsboro, Healdton and Stratford. 

More than 2 inches of rain fell during the night in Porter in Wagoner County and in Vanoss in Pontotoc County. Just under 2 inches was recorded in El Reno and in Minco. 

The National Weather Service said a cold front is expected to move across the state today, bringing a renewed chance for more thunderstorms with large hail and strong winds.

The system last night brought strong winds, lightening and thunder to the metro at about midnight. The same storm spawned possible tornadoes earlier.

There were unconfirmed reports of at least two tornadoes, one about four miles east of Elk City and another north of Cordell in Washita County, although those tornadoes are still unconfirmed by meteorologists.

The only damage confirmed in Elk City thus far is fallen trees were reportedly blocking Meridian Avenue from NW 234 St. to Waterloo Road, power lines were down and more trees were uprooted, said Beckham County Sheriff Scott Jay.

Cordell Fire officials also confirmed about two to three houses had their windows shattered in Canute.

The storms came only hours after a bout of severe weather hit the state Monday night, producing at least one tornado in Kay County. There were no reported early reports of damage or injuries, however.  

The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down south of Blackwell, in far north-central Oklahoma. Television footage showed a dark, ominous cloud passing over Ponca City, but the storm did not spawn any more tornadoes in the state.

Kay County Emergency Manager Dennis Bonewell said the twister was reported by a storm tracker, but it "got wrapped up in rain and got lost pretty quickly. We've gone out and looked and can't find a storm track."

He said emergency management officials had not located any damage, but the storm knocked out electric service to about 20 to 25 percent of Blackwell.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation had closed U.S. Highway 177 north and south of Braman because of high water. There was no word Tuesday morning at around 7:30 a.m. if the road has been re-opened.

Immediately west in Grant County, authorities had also closed U.S. Highway 81 from Medford to the Kansas state line for the same reason. Highway 81 was reopened at 1:22 a.m. Tuesday morning.