Severe storms pass through southern Oklahoma, leaving larges amounts of damage in areas
Severe storms passed through southern Oklahoma late Tuesday night and into Wednesday evening.
The Carter County area saw the brunt of the damage Tuesday night, with large amounts of hail and strong winds.
Carter County Emergency Management Director Paul Tucker said most of the damage consisted of downed trees, power lines and a few damaged shop buildings scattered from the Graham area all the way through Ardmore.
Winds reached speeds strong enough to completely destroy one shop building located off of Kings Road, Tucker said. Several power outages were also reported in the area at around 3 a.m., affecting hundreds of OG&E customers.
While Murray County also experienced severe storms featuring large amounts of hail Tuesday night, Murray County Emergency Management Director Mark Woodell said the damage was minimal.
Wednesday afternoon brought new threats of severe weather to the area, with several tornadoes popping up across southern Oklahoma.
One confirmed tornado in Madill reportedly caused severe damage to J&I Manufacturing and Oklahoma Steel & Wire and resulted in at least one fatality. The full extent of damage and number of fatalities is still being assessed at this time.
Metro storm chasers also reported a tornado on the ground north of Springer, heading towards Dougherty around the same time Wednesday evening.
More information on Wednesday’s storms will be provided as it becomes available. The Carter County area remained mostly clear from severe weather Wednesday evening.
Although tornadoes can occur at any time of the year in Oklahoma, the peak season for tornadoes is typically between March and June, with most occurring in May last year.
Officials encourage individuals to have a plan in place for what to do during a tornado warning before severe weather hits and recommend sheltering from home if possible.
Families who normally take refuge in public storm shelters should check with their community shelter managers to ensure the shelter will still be open and if there are any special considerations to plan for due to COVID-19.
Tucker said individuals should also make sure they have different ways to stay updated on the weather, including weather radios and a television.
“One of the most important things to being prepared is being informed. Make sure you know what the weather forecast is,” Tucker said. “We do live here in Oklahoma and the weather can change in an instant.”