Oklahoma Tornado Kills at Least Four

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A large, violent tornado ripped through a
southern Oklahoma town late Tuesday evening, killing four people
and injuring up to 50, authorities said. Severe weather also caused
damage and power outages in metro Oklahoma City and western Texas.
At least four people were killed and between 20 and 50 were
injured by the tornado in Lone Grove, the state Department of
Emergency Management said. The town of about 4,600 people is about
100 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Damage in the town was extensive and ambulances and other first
responders from communities near Lone Grove were heading there,
said Amber Wilson, the emergency management director for nearby
"Basically, all we have, it is pretty bad," said Chester Agan,
assistant emergency manager for Carter County.
The National Weather Service said the tornado that hit Lone
Grove was large and violent. At least two other twisters were
confirmed, including one that damaged buildings in Oklahoma City
and the northern suburb of Edmond.
At an Edmond business park, a body shop and the vehicles inside
had been turned into a twisted ball of metal.
Shop manager Michael Jerry said he went home to eat and watch
the weather reports as the storm moved into the area.
"It's just surreal," Jerry said. "You just don't believe it.
Especially knowing you were just there minutes before. The steel
girders are in a ball."
National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Smith said tornadoes
are most numerous in Oklahoma in the spring, but can occur at any
time. The threat for twisters even extended into early Wednesday,
with the weather service issuing a new tornado watch for
southeastern Oklahoma and adjacent northeast Texas.
In northwest Oklahoma City, one wall of a Chuck E. Cheese
restaurant collapsed, windows were blown out, and a piece of its
awning was thrown into a tree. Signs were stripped and cars were
damaged in the parking lot.
At the nearby Boulder Ridge Apartments, a large section of roof
was blown off one building and part of a wall was blown off
another. Parked cars were shifted by the wind and smashed into each
In between downpours of rain, residents wandered out to snap
pictures of the wreckage or clear debris.
"My kids are still in the closet and won't come out," said
Traci Keil, 37, as more rain started.
Oklahoma Gas and Electric reported about 9,300 customers without
power, nearly 3,500 in Lone Grove, according to its Web site. Less
than 1,000 Oklahoma City area customers were still in the dark.
Eighteen power poles were snapped, said earlier.
The Oklahoma County Election Board was preparing to tally votes
for a school board election when power went out.
Election materials will be locked up overnight and workers will
start counting ballots Wednesday, board secretary Doug Sanderson
"Basically we're shut down," Sanderson said. "I don't think
there is anything anybody can do for us. It's a pretty extensive
A severe weather watch was posted for Oklahoma through early
Straight-line winds also damaged homes in the state and in
Texas. Dust storms reduced visibility in western Texas so much that
some roads were closed. Power was knocked out and minor building
damage was reported.
Hamilton County authorities in north-central Texas said they had
widespread power outages and downed trees, though there no
immediate reports of damages to businesses or homes.
Volunteer firefighters were out checking for damage. Power
outages and downed trees also were reported in nearby Bosque
The Waco Tribune-Herald reported roof damage at a vacant
shopping center and metal roofing strewn near a restaurant in Waco.
In a Fort Worth suburb of Colleyville, several homes were damaged.

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