Tornado Touches Down In Enid

Sunday, April 26th 2009, 4:14 pm
By: News On 6

The Associated Press

ENID, OK -- Search and rescue crews continued their efforts early Sunday to check on residents after several tornadoes raked through north-central Oklahoma, authorities said.

The hardest hit area was Garfield County, where at least three tornadoes took nearly identical paths over areas hit by previous storms.

The most destructive storm struck around 10 p.m. in Enid, ripping off roofs, tipping over trailers and downing power lines. Another tornado touched down about 10:45 p.m. near the neighboring community of Kremlin and yet another tornado, this one described by television weather spotters as large and violent, hit about 1:45 a.m. near Kremlin.

There have been no reports of major injuries, officials said.

"We had a tornado that did some damage to the expo center and extensive damage in north Enid," said Mike Honigsberg, emergency management director for Enid and Garfield County.

The roof of the Garfield County Expo Center was damaged and cars and trailers parked there for a home show were battered, said Rochelle Honigsberg, Honigsberg's wife and deputy emergency management director. Television footage of the storm showed lumber and insulation littering the area.

"There's a trailer park out there in north Enid that's been hit," Rochelle Honigsberg said. "We haven't gotten any reports of serious injuries. I think there was maybe somebody who was thrown into a seizure -- I'm sure just from the excitement of what happened."

She said officials would have a better idea of how much damage was done in the morning.

"It's too dark to tell. All the power's gone out," Rochelle Honigsberg said.

After the later storm moved through, she said crews were trying to check farms in the rural part of the county for damage but several roads had been affected by flooding from heavy rains accompanying the storms and downed power lines.

According to the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Web site, more than 1,600 customers were without power in Enid at one point. The number in Enid declined to about 540 customers early Sunday, but was joined by 817 outages in Meno, 377 in Kremlin and 109 in Wakit.

The storms that began pounding western and northern Oklahoma late Saturday afternoon are part of a weather pattern forecasters have said could mean a prolonged stormy period for the state.