STRONG storms result in death, property damage


Monday, May 28th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Thunderstorms packing strong, straight winds left thousands without power, toppled trees and blew out windows in Oklahoma, while a woman was killed in Lawton when a power pole fell on her.

The woman was on a motorcycle on a Lawton street Sunday night when the power pole blew over and fell on her, police Capt. John Laboard said. He said the woman was taken to a hospital, but died there. Her identity was not immediately released.

The storms moved from north to south through the state Sunday night and early Monday. Winds estimated at up to 70 mph uprooted trees, damaged roofs and left behind a mess for Memorial Day, although there no reports of serious injury.

A representative for Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co., said about 120,000 customers had lost electricity, including 81,000 in the Oklahoma City area.

Amy Mullen, spokeswoman at Integris Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City, said two windows on the eighth floor of the hospital's east wing were blown out. Three people were treated with minor injuries.

Windows also were damaged at Mercy Hospital in northwest Oklahoma City.

Several buildings in the metro area received roof or window damage, and heavy rains caused street flooding in parts of the city.

Part of the roof of the South Lee United Methodist Church was heavily damaged, as was the roof at a day care center in Moore.

The severe weather prompted officials at Remington Park to cancel the final two races on Sunday night's card.

Two storms prompted tornado warnings as they moved across northern Oklahoma. One warning was issued for a storm near Cherokee, another for a storm in Harper County near Selman. Late Sunday, another tornado warning was issued in Carter County.

Michelann Ooten, spokeswoman for the state Civil Emergency Management office, said power lines and trees were down across Blaine and Ellis Counties. Widespread power outages were reported in Shattuck, Gage and Arnett in northwestern Oklahoma, she said.

A mobile home was destroyed in Bison, said Mike Honigsberg, emergency management director for Garfield County.

In Waukomis, a roof was blown off a building, he said.

Strong winds also blew off the roof of the Briarwood Apartments in Woodward, a dispatcher with the Woodward County Sheriff's Department said.