December Tornado Hits Wagoner County

Tuesday, December 9th 2008, 7:36 am
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

WAGONER COUNTY-- A tornado damaged dozens of homes and forced an elementary school to close for the day.

Lloyd Harvey says half of the stuff he's dragging out of his yard isn't his.  A mangled heap of a carport belongs to a homeowner who lives 200 yards away.  And now, some of it is stuck high up in a tree in Harvey's yard.

"It was just kind of like a roar-type noise, and then it just went away. It was just for, even a minute. It was just a roar. And, it sounded like the windows were going to blow out," said Lloyd Harvey.   

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The storm didn't last long, but it packed a powerful punch.  Winds topped out at around 70 miles per hour.

"We actually thought it might be a tornado. We put the kids inside, put them in there.  And then, all of a sudden, it was gone," said Stan Logan.

Fences were blown over.  Glass was broken from car windows.  And, a giant trampoline was knocked around like a tiny toy.

One homeowner says it could have been worse.

"Actually the house felt like it moved a little bit. I don't know if it just kind of rocked back and forth. I don't think it actually came off its foundation, but that wind hit hard. And, it was just a big ol' wall hit the house," said Stephen Lueck.

At its height, a thousand people were without power.  Liberty Elementary School in Broken Arrow had to close its doors because their power lines fell.

"It looks like the only damage to my property is I've lost my whole fence, so if that's the worst I have, I'm in pretty good shape," said Lloyd Harvey.

In the meantime, Harvey says when the wind blows down your fence; you do your best to put it back up.

The National Weather Service determined that it was an EF 1 tornado that blew through.  Four power lines were downed in front of Liberty Elementary School, but workers say power is now restored to the building.

The strongest gusts of wind happened around midnight and lasted for less than three minutes.