The Norman Transcript

Government

April 19, 2013

More much-needed April showers fill the forecast next week

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“It means we have a reasonable expectation that a tornado could develop. If you are outside, you should take shelter and seek further information.”

Only minor damage, such as a few power poles snapped at the airport, were reported.

“My feeling is that was due to straight line winds,”Fullingim said.

Cleveland County residents appear to have fared well in the storm.

“There are no reports of any damage in the county area,”said Cleveland County Emergency Manager George Mauldin.

Lake levels continue to rise. The current level of Lake Thunderbird’s conservation pool is 1034 feet, five feet below normal. That’s a strong improvement over last week said Utilities Director Ken Komiske.

Hard, fast rains increase the lake level while slow steady rains soak into the drought-parched earth, Komiske said. Right now, the state needs both types of rain to recover from three years of drought.

Mandatory water conservation is still in effect in Norman.

“At this time of year, we normally would have water overflowing the spillway with a rain that hard,” Komiske said. “We’re still five feet low.”

Additionally, the 10 percent reduction in Norman’s allotment from Lake Thunderbird is still in effect. Starting in May, Norman will be able to use a portion of Del City’s allotment if “we exceed our allocation,”Komiske said.

“This rain is definitely good news, but it doesn’t end the drought,” Komiske said. “When the lake is back up where it should be, and the soil moisture content is back to normal, we’ll know the drought has ended.”

Komiske said the dry ground is like a sponge soaking up the rain. While every drop of rain helps, people are still asked to be aware of the need to conserve and use water wisely.

Fullingim said 275 people showed up at the Whittier, Irving and Cleveland Schools, which are opened as shelters during storms. Fire personnel passed out information on sheltering in place and notified everyone this is the last year the city’s shelters will open to the public.

The city shelters are not designed as tornado shelters.

Fulligim said the most dangerous place to be during a tornado or severe storm is in your car or outside. Sheltering in place is the national and state recommendation.

Joy Hampton

366-3539

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

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