Severe Winds Create Big Mess For Fairfax Residents
FAIRFAX, Oklahoma - People living in Fairfax are working around the clock to get back up and running again after a storm bringing 80-90 mile per hour winds swept through the town Saturday.
The mayor said all the power is back on in the city. Employees are working on getting streetlamps back on and picking up debris.
Cynthia Pradmore and her daughter sat on the front porch as the storm rolled in.
"About that time the wind started blowing. It about blew us all off the porch," said Fairfax Resident Cynthia Pradmore.
The storm broke power lines, snapped branches off trees, and covered roads and even cemeteries in debris.
"When that one tree really went down I said I'm going in you guys. We gotta go in," said Pradmore.
Pradmore said she went into her basement to wait out the storm. She heard the wind howling and tree branches cracking but said she never heard the tornado siren.
"You have a lot of older people in this town and it does concern me because you don't know if they can make it to a shelter," Pradmore said.
Fairfax Mayor Burley Hathcoat said there are several reasons the sirens didn't go off and the city is looking into them all.
"I just talked to the lady who does that in here. She says she was reaching for the button and the electricity went off," said Hathcoat.
Hathcoat also said the storm came in so fast that the sirens still wouldn't have given people much time to get to safety.
"Everybody I've talked to said it was really fast, it came in fast. By the time they got the alert it was here," Hathcoat said.
Now the town is focusing on repairing the damage the storm left behind.
"It's been going nonstop. All day yesterday and all day today and I don't think we are even close to getting it repaired. There's just a lot of damage," Hathcoat said.
He said the safety of everyone in the town is a priority and said the siren issue will be brought up in the next city council meeting as well as talks about how to possibly fund backup generators.
"I realize that generators are going to cost a lot but you know people's lives cost a lot more to me," Pradmore said.
The National Weather Service does not think that the storm that caused all of this damage was a tornado but said there was a tornado in a rural area very close to town and they're checking on a second.