Bristow Tornado Rated EF1, Cleanup Underway

Wednesday, May 25th 2016, 1:47 pm
By: News On 6

An EF1 tornado tore up parts of Creek County and left behind a path of destruction.

The National Weather Service confirmed the twister touched down Tuesday, northwest of Bristow and a severe storm also caused damage in Sapulpa.

The National Weather Service says a tornado caused the damage up and down Highway 16, northeast of Bristow. It said survey teams assigned an EF1 rating to the storm, meaning its winds were estimated between 100-110 miles per hour.

The storm damaged power lines, homes and uprooted trees.

Utility crews were out Wednesday morning working to restore power and homeowners were assessing what was left of their homes.

One of the hardest hit areas was off Highway 16 northwest of Bristow, where Zac Kemp and his family live.

"Our house and our neighbor to the west of us received the worst of the damage," he said.

The Kemp family lost their 100-year-old barn, part of their home, their van and almost all of their trees. But it's what they didn't lose that has Kemp in good spirits despite the mess.

"There was a few moments last night when I didn't know if my family was okay because I wasn't here, and I was very concerned and scared about that. And when I found out they were fine…none of this matters to me. This can all be cleaned up, taken care of and restored," he said.

His wife and 2-year-old son were home alone when they realized the storm was on top of them.

"Our trash dumpster, we keep it about 300 feet away at the corner of the property and that was the first thing my wife heard, it flew up and hit the front of the house," Kemp said. “I don't know if my wife and 2 year old would be here right now if we didn't have the shelter."

Others along the street have some similar damage - the property next door lost dozens of animals.

Crews spent most of the day working to restore downed power lines from 221st Street all the way up Highway 16 to 201st.

While Oklahomans may cut their teeth on severe weather, Kemp said you never expect to come home to damage.

"You always hear about it, you know, somebody that it's happened to, but you don't expect it to happen to you, of course," he said.