Storms cause some damage across Oklahoma, but system didn't pack expected punch
Oklahomans on Tuesday prepared for the worst, but spring weather left most of the state unscathed.
A tornado warning was issued for northeastern Oklahoma, southeastern Logan and northwestern Lincoln counties by the National Weather Service just before 9 p.m., but no damage was immediately reported.
The first drops of rain did not fall in the metro area until dark, but reports of downed power lines and trees across south Oklahoma City started cascading as the line of storms hit.
In the metro area, reports of downed fences, trees and power lines spanned as far west as Morgan Road near Yukon, and firefighters reported damage as far north as Danforth Road in Edmond.
In Oklahoma City, there were no reports of injuries or fires caused by the storms.
“We've actually been pretty lucky tonight,” Oklahoma City fire District Chief Benny Fulkerson said Tuesday. “It wasn't as heavy of an event as we've seen in the past.”
In eastern Oklahoma County, one home was reported to have structural damage, including a possible damaged roof, near NE 220 and Triple X Road, sheriff's spokesman Mark Opgrande said.
By 9:30 p.m., more than 22,400 Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. customers reportedly were without power, including more than 16,800 in Oklahoma City, more than 2,900 in Warr Acres and more than 1,100 in Edmond, according to the SystemWatch website.
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Also by 9:30 p.m., 1.17 inches of rain was measured in Norman, and 1.24 inches fell on Spencer, according to the Oklahoma Mesonet. Sites in north and east Oklahoma City recorded less than an inch.
Norman police reported localized flooding as the storms passed through that city.
Quarter-size hailstones were reported in The Village by the public, according to the weather service.
The weather service did not confirm any tornadoes, but television crews reported seeing a weak one in Woodward County in the late afternoon.
Hailstones the size of golf balls also were reported in Custer and Woods counties, according to the weather service.
The threat of severe weather in central Oklahoma throughout Tuesday afternoon prompted Oklahoma City Public Schools to send students home 30 minutes early, and state agencies were allowed to send nonessential personnel home at 3 p.m. in Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties.
The posting about the early closings on the Oklahoma City Public Schools Facebook page prompted 61 shares, but only three comments and no complaints. One person thanked the district for putting students and staff first.
Putnam City Public Schools did not close any schools early, but canceled all after-school activities. The district will not penalize students for being pulled out of school early on Tuesday, according to a comment on their Facebook page.