Severe Storms Strike Will Rogers Downs

Wednesday, November 24th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Monday night’s storms were packing quite a punch. Three distinct cells joined together east of Tulsa and struck the area around Will Rogers Downs racetrack. 85 mile per hour winds punished the track, turning parts of the stables into twisted metal. Two dozen horses were being housed in the stables when the stables was hit by the storm. None of the horses was injured, not even a scratch. "The horses were fairly calm,” said Will Rogers Downs employee Doug Tuttle. “They were not that excited when it was all over." The horses remained relaxed as trainers prepared to move them to another stable. Meanwhile, pieces of their home will stay on the ground for the time being.

Rogers County Emergency Management Director Jon Tilley visited the racetrack to offer advice, record the damage and provide support. Emergency workers say the straight-line winds damaged or destroyed a half dozen homes near Will Rogers Downs, including a brand new home just waiting for its brick and siding. Next door, the lumber scattered across Phil Smith's yard. "We could hear the debris crashing, so were praying and thankful that everything turned out OK,” said Smith.

Will Rogers Downs says simulcast racing will continue as scheduled.