People Injured, Homes Destroyed During Severe Weather

Thursday, October 18th 2007, 8:46 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Skies cleared across Oklahoma on Thursday morning after storms produced a possible tornado in the central part of the state and more than 30 people were hurt, one critically, by severe weather Wednesday.

At least 30 people were injured when a strong storm moved through the Tulsa area, causing two tents to collapse during an Oktoberfest festival just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

``There was some sort of tornado or microburst that picked up at least one of the tents and it collapsed on a large group of people,'' Tulsa Police Sgt. Michael Brown said.

Brown said there were about 30 injuries reported, but more people left on their own to seek treatment.

``Of these, it looks like five were treated and released, 24 were transported and one was transported in critical condition,'' Brown said.

North of Tulsa, five people were injured and 25 mobile homes and travel trailers were damaged when a storm hit a mobile home park between Oologah in Rogers County and the Washington County line, the Oologah-Talala Emergency Medical Services District reported.

Four of the injured were in a mobile home that was destroyed, and the fifth was a woman who was hit by debris, officials said. None of the injuries was believed to be life threatening, officials said.

Rogers County Emergency Management Director Bob Anderson said besides the mobile home that was destroyed, a smaller trailer was rolled over. The other units at the park appeared to have been damaged, but officials wouldn't know the extent until daylight, Anderson said.

Several tractor trailer rigs were blown off roadways in the area, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Downed trees and power lines also were reported in Rogers and Mayes counties, authorities said.

The storms were part of a powerful, spring-like system that brought heavy rain, high winds, hail and a possible tornado to Oklahoma.

Storm spotters in Kingfisher County, northwest of Oklahoma City, reported seeing a tornado touch down about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday about a mile west of Kingfisher, Emergency Management Director Steve Loftis said. No damage was reported, Loftis said.

He said an 86 mph wind gust passed through the area about 8:15 a.m. Wednesday.

``And we had some localized street flooding _ just the same streets that always flood when it rains,'' he said. ``As of 2 p.m., we had close to 2.2 inches of rain.''

The National Weather Service had not confirmed the tornado and would decide Thursday whether to send investigators to the area to make that determination, forecaster Daryl Williams said.

``There definitely was a strong straight-line wind,'' Williams said, ``But whether it generated a tornado is still up in the air.''

Other high-wind reports included a 73 mph gust at Weatherford and a 62 mph gust in west Tulsa, according to the weather service.

The storms also knocked out electric power to 1,564 Oklahoma Gas and Electric customers in northeastern Oklahoma and more than 3,700 in western Arkansas, according to OG&E's Web site.

More than 1,200 remained without power Thursday morning.