Authorities Investigate Reports Of Tornado Damage Near Oologah

Friday, June 6th 2014, 7:22 am
By: Dave Davis

Authorities are investigating reports of a possible tornado and damage west of Oologah late Thursday.

Residents tell the tornado sirens went off in the Rogers County community just after 10 p.m.

Several residents told authorities there was tornado damage west of Oologah on 380 West Road, but Rogers County Sheriff's deputies and firefighters have been unable to find any damage Friday morning.

Marlon Gabriel said he was out fishing on Oologah Dam looking northwest, and between lighting flashes he saw a funnel cloud coming and took video.

He said it tapered off when it hit the lake, where there is flooding and downed limbs.

Rogers County Emergency Management Director Scotty Stokes says it was the first time people in the area received automated tornado warning calls, texts and e-mails.

He also thought the ground operations went well. Deputies plan to continue looking for any damage around the Oologah area Friday morning.

"... I thought things went pretty well," Stokes said. "We had the fire department and sheriff's office out making sure everything was OK acting as spotters and they kept me pretty well advised."

Danielle Nelson, her husband and three kids live in the Will Rogers State Park, right on Oologah Lake, and they were home when the storms hit.

She said they were watching News On 6 and got the emergency alert call, but were a couple miles away from a storm shelter. She said they stayed in the house and prayed while the storm passed.

She said because they live in a state park, it will take some extra red tape to install a storm shelter, but it's now their top priority.

"This was asleep so I'm not going to load him up and wake him up and everything," Nelson said.

If you want to get on the Rogers County emergency alert list and receive those calls and texts, you can do that on the county website by clicking here.

A severe thunderstorm moved through the area late Thursday. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for southern Washington County and western Rogers County Friday night after rotation was indicated on their radar.

Further north residents in the Nowata County community of Childers reported golf ball to baseball-sized hail as thunderstorms moved out of Kansas into northeast Oklahoma.