Haskell County Storm Damage Closes Kinta Schools, Destroys Barn

Tuesday, November 8th 2011, 11:42 am
By: News On 6

The Haskell County school district of Kinta closed at 11 a.m. after the district lost power Tuesday. 

The school system lost power after a large storm moved through the area, according to Superintendent Patricia DeVille. Phone service to Kinta Public Schools was also knocked out.

Kinta is a small community about 60 miles south of Muskogee in Haskell County. The superintendent said buses took students home. 

"Well the clouds just come up and it started raining real hard. You couldn't even see a hundred yards it was raining so hard and then all of the sudden electricity went off," said Kenneth Pugh/Resident.

The storm hit along Highway 31 between Kinta and Lequire. The good news is it's mostly pastures and farmland and emergency management says there are no reports of injuries.

But in the middle of it was the Henry farm. Downed power lines blocked access to the farm but you can see a camper that's tipped on its side, an irrigation sprinkler that's toppled over, and cattle trailer that's been blown across the field.

The storm caused schools in Kinta and Quinto to close early because it knocked out their electricity, and the Haskell County Emergency Management says it even left first responders out of touch when it knocked out their transmission lines.

The storm moved through fast, only about ten minutes so the 2-way radios weren't out very long.

Residents say it's been a strange few days, this severe storm on the heels of nearly two dozen earthquakes and aftershocks.

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In the nearby town of Lequire, an apparent tornado destroyed a barn, several outbuildings and damaged a home.  The same tornado also knocked down at least 10 utility poles according to Haskell County Emergency Management.

No injuries have been reported.

In an unrelated incident, schools in Oktaha Schools in Muskogee County were closed Tuesday due to power outages.