What the heck is going on? We're not supposed to have tornadoes in February!
A massive line of thunderstorms stretching from Witchita Falls, Texas, through Lawton, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Edmond, and Stillwater has done a considerable amount of damage in northwest Oklahoma City and near the Oak Tree area north of Edmond, OK.
Local news is reporting heavy wind and storm damage in Oklahoma City near Northwest Expressway and Rockwell Avenue including blown-off awnings, blown-out signage, and downed power lines. In Oak Tree, power lines are down and roofs have been blown off houses.
You can watch one of the tornadoes form live on TV here, at the KOCO Channel 5 website. Besides tornadoes, the storms are packing heavy rain, strong winds, and golf ball to tennis ball sized hail. Scary stuff.
I was stuck in Edmond until around 4:00 pm, after the tornado had passed. I was there to pick up my six year old from school. We stayed at the school because travel back to OKC was dangerous, and ended up doing a "duck and cover" whenever the tornado on the northwest side of Edmond touched down.
I took this photo of the storm on our way out of Edmond, at the intersection of Hefner Road and Broadway Extension, looking northwest. My family is safe right now, but we have made our basement storm shelter ready in anticipation of the other storms that appear to be headed our way.
More coverage is available at NewsOK.com.
UPDATE: Thankfully, Oklahoma City television is reporting no serious injuries in the OKC Metro area, only a few people treated for minor cuts and bruises. Lots of heavy storm damage near NW Expressway and Rockwell Ave. though, and dozens of homes were damaged with a few completely destroyed in the Coffee Creek and Oak Tree areas in
northeastnorthwest Edmond. We lost our power for about three hours, but got it back about half an hour ago. At this time (10:00PM CST) OG&E is reporting about 20,000 customers still without power.
Lone Grove, in the south-central part of the state near Ardmore, wasn't so lucky. Three people died when a tornado ripped through the area around 7:30 PM this evening.
Radar is showing the troublesome storm front moving east-northeast, through eastern Texas and eastern Oklahoma and into Arkansas and Missouri. Hopefully no more severe weather will come out of this front.
UPDATE II: Authorities are reporting this morning (Wednesday, Feb. 11) that at least 8 people died in Carter County, near Lone Grove, with the possibility that there may be as many as 15 dead.
The tornadoes that ripped through the OKC Metro area yesterday struck between 2:30 and 3:00 pm, which is the normal time for school to be dismissed. Most area schools went under lockdown during the storms; the tornado that struck northwest Edmond actually touched down very near Cheyenne Middle school.
This morning, callers on local radio reiterated the point that no matter how hard Congress or the courts try, they will never be able to completely eradicate prayer from our schools. Yesterday afternoon, a lot of school children, teachers, and administrators surely were praying.