Storms spawn tornadoes, flooding

Wednesday, May 7th 2008, 4:02 pm
By: News 9

Two tornadoes touched down Wednesday afternoon in Oklahoma City, tearing off roofs and uprooting trees. No one has been reported as injured. No major damage has been reported, State Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Michelann Ooten said.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. reported 345 outages with 185 in Ardmore and 160 in Oklahoma City.

Tornadoes in Oklahoma City

The two tornadoes that touched down in Oklahoma City on Wednesday were:

  • A small tornado was reported at 5 p.m. near NW 39 Expressway and Kilpatrick Turnpike.
  • Another tornado damaged outbuildings near NW 63 St. and N Meridian Ave. at 5:11 p.m.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Betsy Randolph said there were reports of trees damaged from high winds, but otherwise the storm's main impact seemed to be on rush hour traffic.

Phone Numbers:

OG&E power outages:
- In the Oklahoma City area call: 272-9595
- Outside the Oklahoma City area call: 1-800-522-6870

Damage in Edmond
Edmond Police ask people who have damage reports to call 359-4370, instead of calling 911.

Randolph said she saw several vehicles make sudden stops on Interstate 35 when tornado sirens began sounding.

"We've had a lot of fender benders in the metro, and I don't know if that's because folks are looking at the clouds or the rain is getting the best of them," Randolph said.

High winds also blew over a tractor-trailer along Interstate 35 south of Goldsby, the OHP reported.

"All of a sudden things started moving around. There was a big swirl in the parking lot.  It started getting bigger and bigger," Craig Ware, who lives at the Willow Cliff apartment complex, said.

At 6:30 p.m., witnesses said they saw a funnel touch down near NW 50 St. and Grove Ave near the Willow Cliff apartment complex. A tree fell down on the complex Wednesday evening. No one was injured.

Residents of the Willow Cliff said the tornado sounded like a freight train headed straight for them.

"Everything started to shake and it was real loud outside," Matt Grant, a Willow Cliff resident, said. "We jumped in the bathtub real fast because it hit us by surprise."

The residents of the apartment complex said the tornado sirens were sounding, but not until after the tornado had already hit.

The Warr Acres Fire Department also reported some damage to trees and buildings near NW 50 and Grove.

Damage reported near Bethany 

Witnesses told police in Bethany that a tornado touched down briefly and toppled several trees before lifting back into the sky, said Ali Razavi, a spokesman for the Bethany Police Department.

About 50 residents were allowed to return to their homes after the gas was shut off, Razavi said.

At 5:45 p.m., Bethany police reported that the Burger Shack, 711 NW 39th Expressway, had lost its roof. SkyNEWS 9 HD Pilot Mason Dunn reported that a roof of a dugout also had blown off at a park near the expressway and Council Rd.

Flooding causes roads to close

Several roads were closed in north Oklahoma County following heavy rains and flooding.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning until 8 p.m. for five northeast Oklahoma counties that received between one and three inches of rain by early Wednesday evening. Separate flood warnings also were issued Wednesday for the Verdigris River and Spring River in northeast Oklahoma.

At 6 p.m. flooding was reported on Kelly Avenue in Edmond between Memorial Road and 15 Street.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office reports that the following roads were closed:

  • County Line Road from NW 192 to NW 206
  • NW 220 from Highway 74 (Portland) to May
  • NW 178 from Highway 74 (Portland) to MacArthur Boulevard
  • Rockwell from NW 178 to 192
  • Meridian from NW 178 to 192

Officials said they expect more roads to close if the rain continues and urged motorists to use caution and not drive into water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.