A powerful overnight storm July 23-24 tore roofs off area buildings, downed numerous tree limbs and damaged property in central Osage County last week.
As a result of that storm system, tens of thousands of electric customers in Tulsa County were without power for days as winds at times in excess of 70 miles an hour tore through the area.
After the destructive storm passed, Journal-Capital Correspondent/Photographer Jack Buzbee captured some of the damage in and around Pawhuska last Wednesday morning. Local damage reported includes:
— Roof taken off Pawhuska Nursing Home at 11 p.m. Tuesday night. All residents were evacuated to another nearby nursing home.
— Metal roof ripped off the fire station.
— Metal roof ripped off a building at the Osage County Fairgrounds
J-C Correspondent Tennie Slone reports that the nearby town of Wynona also felt the effects of the storm.
A large mature elm tree in front of Wynona Town Hall was blown over, just missing the building.
“People were out all day for the next couple of days hauling away tree branches, whole trees, setting up outdoor items that were all blown over,” reports Slone.
See her full report in today’s Wynona News column.
Elsewhere, Stuart Solomon, the president of American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma, said that at its peak, more than 100,000 homes and business were without power last week.
Officials at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa said the complex sustained heavy damage.
The storm was later classified by meteorologists as a rare “derecho” because of the widespread wind damage it left behind. National Weather Service meteorologist Karen Hatfield said derechos are a special type of damaging storm event that have consistent reports of wind damage or measured wind gusts of 58 mph or over for at least 250 miles.
“They are not common,” she said in an Associated Press interview. “Typically across the country, there are only a handful of derechos every year.”