Extreme Winds Leave Damage To Bartlesville Neighborhoods
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma - Many homeowners are cleaning up after strong winds downed trees and scattered branches on July 21.
Washington County Emergency Management said radar data showed a pocket of 80 mile per hour winds centered right over town.
Families said it all happened in just a few minutes.
Sonji Ketiku and his family were having a birthday pool party for his father in law when the storm sprung up.
“Within a five minute frame, the weather went from being a nice gorgeous night, to being a Wizard of Oz night,” Ketiku said.
He said when the rain and wind hit, they rushed inside but the gusts were so strong they had trouble closing the door.
“All of a sudden we heard a couple thumps, we come outside and trees are broken up everywhere, stuff is flying around, it’s crazy,” Ketiku said.
The Ketiku’s have been living here for more than four years, and said they never thought this would happen.
“They’re good and healthy trees, good to go and all the sudden they start snapping,” Ketiku said.
All down his street and in other neighborhoods, tree limbs are scattered across roads and in yards. One woman's camper was pushed sideways several feet, and his neighbors mailbox is crumpled.
Resident Elizabeth Rheingans watched crews clean up. She was looking out her front window watching the storm as it came through.
“All of a sudden I heard a strange noise and this tree fell right in front of me," Rheingans said. "I was frozen."
She’s lived through tornadoes in Wisconsin and Tulsa but said those didn’t compare to this.
“I had my kitty with me when this happened and she went haywire. After it was over she ran through the house, up and down on furniture, and she was acting crazy,” Rheingans said.
Now that the weather has calmed down both Rheingans and ketiku can focus on cleaning up and look in awe at what was left behind.