Thunderstorms Spawn Twisters Across Oklahoma; Three Hurt
Thunderstorms unleashed tornadoes across Oklahoma on Saturday, ripping roofs from homes, downing power lines and injuring three persons.
Severe storms stretched from the Texas Panhandle across the southern half of the nation to South Carolina, prompting tornado watches throughout the lower Great Lakes area. A flash flood watch was posted for the western Florida Panhandle.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms pushed northward from the Gulf of Mexico across the Florida Panhandle. By early afternoon, more than four inches of rain had fallen in Mary Esther and Milton, Fla., prompting flood watches in those communities.
Tornado watches were posted throughout Indiana, northern and central Illinois and southern Wisconsin. A tornado was reported near Joliet, Ill., but apparently did not touch down. Another funnel cloud was spotted in Adams County, Ind., but police reported no damage.
In Oklahoma, one twister touched down after midnight in Owasso, tearing roofs from half a dozen homes and a barn. Power lines and tree limbs also were forced down.
High winds damaged several camper trailers and downed trees at Fort Supply Lake in the north western part of the state.
Another tornado was reported on radar three miles north of Blackburn, and a funnel cloud was sighted over Jennings. No damage was reported.
At least three persons suffered minor injuries as a result of the twisters reported in northern Oklahoma.
A sheriff’s dispatcher said one of those injured was hurt when a tree limb fell on a tent. “The peak wind at one time was 77 m.p.h.,” he said.
Gusts of 60 m.p.h. were recorded in Oklahoma at Rogers County, Catoosa and Prue. Hail three inches in diameter fell at Ochelata, Hominy, Bristow and Okmulgee. Hail also pummeled western Arkansas and an area northeast of Amarillo, Tex.
Elsewhere in Oklahoma, Tulsa received an inch of rain in one hour Saturday morning.
In Missouri, more than two inches of rain soaked the Shelbina area and more than an inch of rain drenched Monroe City, New London and Saverton.