Tornadoes damage homes in Midwest

Severe weather causes havoc from Oklahoma to Minnesota Monday

BY BOYCE BOWDON | OKLAHOMA CITY | March 31, 2008


Residents of an Oklahoma City suburb were cleaning debris, tarping damaged roofs and marveling that they and their neighbors survived without injuries when a tornado storm struck about 1:20 Monday morning.

Twelve homes in the Valencia Subdivision near 182nd and Pennsylvania in north Edmond were the heaviest damaged, said Tim Wheeler, Edmond Chief of Fire Prevention. "We were very fortunate no one was injured,” he said.

The storm knocked out power for more than Edmond's 6,600 homes for several hours, said Charlie Burgett, Edmond Electric Utility director.

Flooding from the severe storms and heavy rains caused many problems for commuters Monday morning.

A woman was rescued from her car at the flooded intersection. The Highway Department was placing road blockades prevent drivers from entering flooded areas.

One of the heaviest damaged houses in the Valencia Subdivision was the home of a woman and her two four-year-old twins. They were in their home when their roof was blown off, but they were not injured.

“The woman has been attending our church for the past three weeks,” says Carrie Kelly, a spokesman for a 4,000-member LifeChurch.tv campus located near the entrance to the subdivision. "We were with her Monday morning, seeing how we could help."

Kelly says a care team from the church has already inspected with many of the residents in the area. The team met Monday afternoon to review the needs and plan how they can be most helpful.

In western and central Oklahoma, utility crews on Monday morning started replacing power poles and restoring power knocked out by thunderstorms that produced high winds and large hail. Two-inch hail, the size of a hen’s egg, fell in northwest Oklahoma. Oklahoma Gas & Electric reported 14,000 homes were without power at 3 a.m. Monday, but all power is now restored.

Weather conditions across the state remain unsettled Monday night. Numerous counties are still under thunderstorm, tornado, or flash flood warnings. Sunny skies are forecast for central Oklahoma Tuesday, but more thunderstorms are expected to strike Wednesday and during most of the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service in Norman.


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