The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 1, 2012

Tornadoes strike Oklahoma, no injuries reported


From The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Tornadoes that struck northern Oklahoma damaged some homes, barns and other farm structures and left more than 1,000 customers without power, officials said Tuesday.

Authorities said no deaths or serious injuries were reported as a result of the twisters that struck between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday near Medford in north-central Oklahoma and near Nowata in the state’s northeastern corner.

Investigators for the National Weather Service and crews with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management were assessing the damage Tuesday.

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain said two homes near Medford and three others in Craig County, near Nowata, were damaged and many power poles and lines were down.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric reported about 1,300 power outages late Tuesday morning in the Medford area. Public Service Company of Oklahoma reported no outages in its service area that includes Nowata and Craig County.

Rick Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norman, said “several” tornadoes were reported, although an exact number hadn’t yet been determined.

“We’ll be looking at the different data and damage information to determine the number and severity,” in the Medford area, Smith said.

Investigators from the weather service’s Tulsa office will head to Nowata to take a look at the damage there, meteorologist Bart Haaky said.

“We had several reports of tornado touchdowns in the vicinity of Nowata, preliminary reports,” Haaky said. “Once they (investigators) establish a damage path they’ll have a better idea” of whether it was one or several twisters that touched down.

The meteorologists said that the storms had moved out of the state and, except for a slight chance for thunderstorms in western Oklahoma, dry and windy conditions are forecast for Tuesday.

“We’re looking at drying out from that point on, probably through the end of the week at least,” Haaky said.