The tornado that touched down in Oklahoma on Wednesday caused much damage but no deaths were reported. Cars were overturned and buildings were torn up but due to the ability to seek shelter and the quick response of national alerts, no one was reported dead. Oklahoma experiences tornadoes often and with tornado season having already started, many prepare for storms to bring about large tornadoes. This storm was just another instance of luck for Oklahoma residents who were able to avoid the tornado, well enough that minimal damage was caused.
On Wednesday afternoon the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for several counties in the state of Oklahoma. A tornado had touched down to the ground about 20 miles southwest of Oklahoma city and was expected to cause much damage and danger as it grew, though in the aftermath sources claim there were no deaths to report. The Weather Channel followed the storm closely to make residents aware of the possible tornadoes, and when one did touch down they covered it quickly. Twitter users also took to social media to tweet about the tornado and the danger that it posed. It was due to all of this quick communication that residents were able to seek shelter in time. A tornado watch continued in effect for several counties until the evening on Wednesday.
The tornado in Caddo County, Oklahoma was just another member of the tornado season, which pretty much starts in March and lasts until about August, for Oklahoma. This tornado reached a mile wide and an EF4 rating, at one point in time before it began weakening, according to sources. Other smaller tornadoes also joined it, touching down around Grady County and other close-by areas. NWS Norman tweeted around 5 p.m. central, that debris was flying around Bridge Creek leading to a dangerous situation, as they urged people to quickly take cover.
Other states also experienced problems as many tornadoes touched down across Kansas and Nebraska, as well. This group of tornadoes only follows a group of seven that touched down in Texas on Tuesday, causing much damage. As severe weather starts to increase across the plains, many are wondering just how long it will be before these tornadoes begin to cause massive amounts of casualty. Of course, taking steps toward preparedness is the only way to get ahead of the quick and violent storms.
About Travel suggests the same tips that have been around for many years. Things like having a full fledged tornado plan, keeping an emergency kit with a flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, sturdy shoes, extra I.D., cash, spare keys, and a battery powered radio, and knowing which areas to avoid and which areas to flee to, can help residents stay safe when a tornado is near. Being able to act quickly, stay calm, and implement your plan will help residents get to shelter fast and efficiently. About Travel also suggests some do not do items like staying in the car, trying to outrun a tornado, hiding under a bridge or overpass (which used to be considered safe but is not now) can also help residents to stay safe in the event that a tornado touches down near the area.
As a variety of sources helped get the message out for the tornadoes on Wednesday, residents were able to stay safe, according to reports so far. But as tornado season is far from over, the “no reported deaths” and “minimal damage caused” from the tornado that touched down in Oklahoma could quickly change to a different, more horrible report the next time. As residents work to rebuild the damage that was caused in several different locations, they can only hope that the tornado watch that continues on tonight will not bring about any more results.
By Crystal Boulware
Note: Tornado depicted in photo is not the actual tornado.