Storms Catch Nowata County Residents Off Guard
NOWATA COUNTY, Oklahoma - In Nowata County, clean-up and assessment from last night's storm continues.
The area was hit with four-inch diameter hail and high winds that toppled trees and buildings.
One woman says our warn weather team is to thank for alerting them to the dangerous weather.
Many people say this storm came up quick, turned the sky green, and they only had a matter of minutes to react, making a warning that much more important.
"I just can't believe it's gone, after all these years," said resident Mary Branstetter.
Branstetter looked up to a terrifying sight.
"Looked out and seen it was just pouring down rain," Branstetter said.
The sky turned green. Her husband yelled to get in the basement.
"We had benches that left the inside of the barn and went out through the door, I don't know how they didn't take out a vehicle," Branstetter said.
They turned on Channel 6.
"Travis Meyer says road 406, road 25 is going to take a direct hit," Branstetter said. "I said 'oh, that's us.'"
It was the pinpoint accuracy that let her know she was in the path.
"He brings it right down like I can bring it down on my phone," Branstetter said.
When the storm passed through, they knew their property was getting destroyed.
"He said 'oh baby, we're getting a lot of damage.' I said 'yeah, we are. What are yo going to do?'" Branstetter said.
As Travis was forecasting high winds and four-inch diameter hail.
"Yeah, we had that, too. That Travis said we were going to have," Branstetter said. "I'd say it was about this big around, about the size of a softball, easily the size of a softball."
Just down the road, Branstetter's neighbor, Brandie Inman, also took a direct hit.
"The wind was blowing, and the rain was blowing, and it was crazy," Inman said.
Her 65-by-80-foot indoor riding barn got hit.
"It wasn't even three years old yet," Inman said.
Now it lays in a mangled pile 50 yards from where it stood.
"And basically it's over there," Inman said.
Inman is thankful she, her husband and none of her horses were seriously hurt.
"We're thankful for that. Our house is somewhat OK, a little damage but nothing bad," she said.
While both neighbors are still digging out.
"We're still looking for some things, but nothing that's drastic (is) missing," Branstetter said.
They both feel lucky having been through a storm they'd never seen before.
"Never, never, unbelievable," Branstetter said.
Of course there are lot of stories like theirs from last night.
Goes to show the importance of being weather aware and heeding the experts warnings.