Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tornado Slams Small Oklahoma Town

A tornado touched down in western Oklahoma Monday, destroying five homes and a bar, but hurting nobody.

Reporters with TV station KOCO said that the footage is frightening, but the tornado could have been much worse.

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Michelann Ooten told KOCO there were no initial reports of any injuries with the storm, which was first spotted about 5:15 p.m. Monday.

The storm traveled north of Elk City, which is about 110 miles west of Oklahoma City. Eventually, the twister hit Hammon, Okla., where the majority of damage was done.

Early reports indicated damage throughout areas of Roger Mills County around Hammon. The Roger Mills County Sheriff's Office reported that the county barn was destroyed in the storm, leaving behind significant debris.

Residents told reporters with KOCO that the tornado was surprising. Brandi Leach said power lines came to a rest atop her grandmother's van, along with debris and insulation ripped from a mobile home nearby.

Leach said she took cover just in time, "My kids were outside playing on the trampoline, and one of them came and said, 'Mom, there's a tornado.' I said, 'Yeah, right.' Then, I came outside and I watched it for about 20 minutes, and it was coming right at me, and as soon as we got the door closed to the cellar, we heard it."

Video footage from nearby residents showed the tornado form and eventually touch down in Hammon, a small town of about 500 people.


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