Small tornado causes damage at Tulsa's International Airport and nearby hotel
Sunday, April 2nd 2006, 1:45 AM CST
Storms moved across eastern Oklahoma late Saturday and into early Sunday morning and left behind some unbelieveable damage. One of the worst hit areas was near the Tulsa International Airport.
The National Weather Service says a small tornado struck the airport and a nearby hotel.
Seven people were hurt and hundreds of guests from the hotel were evacuated.
News on 6 reporter Joshua Brakhage says Terry and 200 guests had settled in for the night at the Airport Radisson. He never expected his buddy, who happens to be a first responder would be called into action.
Terry: "He was right there, and off he went, and just tried to get evacuation of people, banging on doors, get them to come on down, it's not a drill."
The hotel lost its roof over three rooms, but had even more to worry about.
Tulsa Fire Captain Andy Teeter: "We had some broken natural gas pipes that fed the rooms."
Worried about leaks, rescue crews evacuated the entire building.
Alexa Browning: "I couldn't cry because I was like so scared. And my arms would shake hard."
Alexa Browning and her dad George were in bed when the storm hit. Now, they're moving to another hotel, looking for a safe and dry place to spend the night.
George Browning: "It was quite the unexpected, but thank God no one was injured."
Chunks of concrete were thrown in the wind, and debris shattered lots of guests' car windows. This is just an example of how damaging these winds were. Tulsa Police say an SUV was caught by the wind and completely rolled on top of this car.
Another taxi cab driver at the airport says the wind caught his vehicle, lifted it completely vertical in the air, then slammed it back down, shattering every window in his cab.
Rafat Adhami: "It's like a bomb inside the car BOOM!"
Rafat Adhami says he had glass all over his vehicle, in his clothes, and even in his mouth.
Rafat Adhami: "I couldn't see anything for a few seconds. I find myself on the other seat. And then when I wake up I say, oh destroyed area. Trees broke down, cars upside down, it's horrible."
Luckily, the seven people hurt in the storm had only scrapes and bruises, and no one was seriously hurt.