NORMAN — A preliminary report from the National Weather Service indicates an EF-3 tornado slammed into Cleveland County on Monday night, demolishing homes and leaving a Newalla woman dead.
Daryl Williams, a forecaster at the National Weather Center, said forecasters tracked three tornadoes that struck areas in the county. Meteorologists rate tornadoes from 0-5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
He said the EF-3 tornado’s path began about three miles south of Norman. Its width stretched about a half-mile, Williams said.
“It was on the ground for 16 miles,” he said.
The tornado traveled a path from Norman to Little Axe, Williams said. The tornado continued east.
A survey team tracked the tornado’s end point to Pink in western Pottawatomie County, Williams said. An EF-3 tornado is packed with winds that range from 136-165 mph, he said.
Williams said storm trackers believe an EF-2 tornado touched down in the county. The funnel was spotted east of Lake Thunderbird. An EF-2 tornado has wind speeds between 111 and 135 mph, he said.
Trackers spotted a third tornado in Cleveland County, Williams said. Forecasters still were estimating its width on Wednesday.
A tornado is blamed for one death near Norman. Officials with the State Medical Examiner’s office identified the deceased as Tammy Rider, 29, of Newalla.
Norman Regional Health System spokesperson Kelly Wells said EMSStat paramedics responded to 46 calls Monday night related to tornadoes.
“They brought 18 patients to the hospital,” Wells said.
Doctors and nurses treated 70 patients at Norman Regional Hospital and Moore Medical Center with storm-related injuries.
She said three patients remained in fair condition Wednesday at Norman Regional Hospital. One patient had been discharged from the hospital.
Another patient was transferred to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City for further treatment, Wells said.
Electrical crews continued to repair and replace power poles and lines in and around Norman on Wednesday.
State Highway 9 between 12th Avenue SE and 24th Avenue SE was closed for a period of time Wednesday as electrical crews restrung power lines, according to Norman police. The roadway was reopened by 1 p.m.
Cleveland County Undersheriff Rhett Burnett said the vast majority of power lines have been pulled off roadways. The sheriff’s department shut down the county’s mobile command post at Country Boy IGA on Wednesday. Extra patrols were planned for areas hit by Monday’s tornadoes.
Burnett said people have brought food to those working rescue and recovery efforts at the command post.
“We have been very blessed,” he said.
Additional deputies were summoned Monday night to respond to calls. Burnett said the sheriff’s department returned to normal shift rotations Wednesday evening.
Meghan McCormick 366-3539 firstname.lastname@example.org