Downburst Causes Damage, Power Outages In Ponca City

Saturday, April 9th 2011, 2:29 pm
By: News On 6

PONCA CITY, Oklahoma -- Kay County got the rain it needed, but unfortunately the rain came with damaging hail and winds that were clocked up to 94 mph before the power went out.

About 80 percent of residents were out of power at the worst of the storm, according to Emergency Management Director Paula Cain.

"We have 85 percent of power restored as of about noon Saturday," Cain said. "We have a problem west of Waverly that's going to take a little more time."

4/8/2011 Related Story: Hail, High Winds Pound Parts Of Oklahoma

The damage was most severe to buildings and power lines in the industrial area and airport. The Mid-America Door company lost its 80,000 square foot facility. Fortunately, no one was inside at the time.

"It's a devastating thing, you know, we'll rebuild like anything else. We're resilient, we'll make it happen," said Corey Phipps of Mid-America Door. "It's a good thing that lives weren't involved. We can rebuild. Lives couldn't be replaced."

The damage was so extensive, utility crews couldn't stop a water main break at the site because they couldn't get inside.

Traffic is blocked from Waverly Street, which runs next to the airport, because of downed power lines and poles.

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The National Weather Service ruled the storm a "rippling downburst" and said the damage was caused by straight line winds.

Neighborhoods are filled with downed tree limbs, some that damaged houses and cars.

If neighbors on either side of you have power but you don't, Cain suggest checking the weatherhead and transmission line on your property to see if the problem lies there.

No injuries have been reported.

"We appreciate everybody being patient while we're getting power restored," Cain said.

News On 6 reporter Lacie Lowry will have more on this story in tonight's newscasts.