Owasso Residents Start Assessing Damage From EF-1 Tornado

Friday, May 12th 2017, 1:53 pm
By: News On 6

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado ripped through Oologah and Owasso Thursday, causing damage to homes, barns and cars.

Hundreds lost power as storms pummeled the Tulsa area and beyond.

Now, many people are working to clean up debris and salvage belongings. People living in the damaged Owasso area are getting a lot of help from neighbors and volunteers.

Many described the damage as a disaster; but, while it will be a long cleanup, they said there is still something to be happy about.

5/12/2017 Related Story: Weather Service Says EF-1 Tornado Touched Down In Owasso

Art Burdette found out the storm was coming with just enough time to take cover.

"I knew part of the roof had gone because of the whistle," he said. "I was working in the bedroom and started walking into the living room and my phone went off, and I grabbed it and said ‘What's going on,’ and it said microburst."

Burdette said the living room has two large glass windows; and with the microburst coming, he knew it wouldn't be safe, and he was right.

“I wasn't in there when the glass broke. It's all over, and I mean it’s sharp shards of glass. It would have been some injury," he said.

Moments after the storm rolled through, Burdette’s wife, Debi, pulled into the neighborhood. Her thoughts immediately went to her husband.

"The first thing I thought, ‘where is my husband,’ because he was home. ‘Where are my neighbors? Is everyone okay,’” she said.

She saw a hole in the roof, broken windows, and a down fence.

She said, "Things just didn't look right, and, all of a sudden, I came out and saw the neighbor’s back yard."

Debi even found her storage shed in the neighbor's back yard.

The most damage the Burdettes have seen at their home is a little bit of flooding. They said the damage is shocking, but the community can and will recover.

"I'm not aware of anyone that was hurt. We're very fortunate in that respect," Art said.

The Oklahoma Emergency Management Team is still tallying the damage in the area.