The massive tornado that tore through populated, urban areas in Oklahoma on Monday mostly skirted the state’s livestock-rich areas, sparing many cattle auction sites, feedlots, ranches and farms.
Still, some animals were lost in the storm.
“As big and as long as it was, I’m certain that there will be some ranches affected,” said Jim Reese, the Oklahoma secretary of agriculture, adding the state was establishing shelters for pets and large animals.
Reese said the Oklahoma City area is home to smaller ranches that were hit, as well as the Orr Family Farm with 150 horses.The tornado, which struck the Oklahoma City area around 3 p.m., stayed on the ground for 40 minutes, leveling businesses, reducing houses to splinters and destroying two elementary schools.
“As far as animals that I know of, it will be pets, horses, and smaller operations,” said commissioner Jim Reese.
Reese told the Los Angeles Times that the state veternarian had not yet compiled a casualty figure, but he was sure there would be deaths and injuries among animals.
Also Monday, about 55 miles east of Oklahoma City, a pet rescue group called One Day Ranch combed the rubble of buildings hit Sunday by a tornado in Shawnee. Amid the debris at a mobile home park rescuers found, alive, a small gray kitten.